I realize that budgets are there for a reason. My reason being that less than a year ago I was using money and shopping to fill a void.
I have anxiety oozing out of every pore of my body, and my way of coping with my anxiety about finances was to go buy a bunch of stuff.
I know how stupid that sounds – but it gave me temporary relief. However it was VERY temporary – as in it gave me relief until that $300 shopping spree got posted to my bank account. Then the anxiety came back and my cycle started all over again.
So I started budgeting.
And for the first month or so I stuck to it like a crazy person. However I realized that I had completely cut out room for anything fun.
So I went from one extreme to the next in a matter of months. And you might be thinking, “Allie that’s great! You aren’t wasting your money anymore!” And while that is true, I also wasn’t allowing myself any form of splurging.
So I re-did my budget and gave myself a “personal” category with what I believe is a fair amount of money each month for me to do whatever I please with.
I have come to realize that material things give me the most temporary form of happiness, so this budget is dedicated to things like going to the bar with my friends, buying food and beer for the cabin, going to the movies or any other form of personal “entertainment”.
However I also will occasionally splurge on a “material” item. For example last month I bought a $180 swimsuit since it’s the start of summer. And guess what – I still stuck to my budget!
Maybe I went out a little less that month, skipped out on a trip to the movies and watched Netflix instead. My point here is you can ABSOLUTELY splurge and still stick to your budget.
And maybe your idea of splurging isn’t buying an expensive swimsuit. Maybe you have a favorite coffee shop that you love to go to on a weekly basis – Then go! If it makes you happy, don’t give it up because someone told you you can save money by cutting out your weekly cup of joe.
A budget does not mean you aren’t allowed to still have fun, get coffee on a regular basis or buy an expensive item. It just means that when you do those things you are being more conscious about it.
The key to this mentality is that no matter what, you are paying all your bills and expenses FIRST – Then once you have paid that which you are obligated, it’s 100% okay to leave yourself a monthly allowance to do with what you please.
Life is all about balance. And while I want to pay off my loans and save a shit ton of money, I’m not going to stop living my life in the process.
So even though you might be on a budget, you are still allowed to have fun and enjoy a little something extra every once in awhile!