Every Friday I post about one of the lessons I’ve learned so far in life, both financial and about life in general. We’ve all learned valuable lessons along life’s journey, sometimes the easy way and sometimes the hard way. Hopefully someone will read what I learned and avoid having to learn the same thing the hard way. Check back every Friday for a new lesson learned.
Too Much Of A Good Thing
One of the things I frequently have to remind myself of isn’t about spending less money or cutting back here or there. For the most part, my wife and I are pretty frugal people. We don’t spend a lot of money, and when we do it’s usually on things that we need. But I have a habit of taking that too far.
Frugality in Excess
I remember one time we were at the mall, and my wife found some cute shirts that she wanted to buy for our little boy. I made some comment that he didn’t need more clothes and that the price seemed pretty high. I don’t remember now how much they cost, but it wasn’t something outrageous or anything. A good portion of his clothes have come as gifts from family and from garage sales, so it isn’t like we’d been spending a lot on his clothes. Later on that same trip, my wife stopped to listen to a person giving a product demo. I don’t know if for some reason I thought she was going to buy it or what, but I made a rude comment about sales pitches in general and just kept walking on past the demo. Later on that evening, my wife told me how rude I had been to her and that I was acting like a Scrooge. She was right.
My wife is not a spendthrift by any stretch of the imagination. She doesn’t buy a whole lot, and when she does buy things she looks and gets really good deals. I don’t know if I was just in a bad mood that day or what, but my wife periodically has to remind me not to be a Scrooge. Money and the budget are important, but I shouldn’t become fixated with it. We stick to our budget, live frugally, and contribute toward savings and retirement. The important things are being done. As long as those things are being taken care of, it’s ok to buy some of the things you “want.”
The Bottom Line
While it certainly is important to make and stick to a budget, to save money for the future, and to be mindful of your spending, you can go too far. It’s all well and good to keep an eye toward the future, but you still have to live in the present. All work and no play can make things pretty dull.
I know a lot of people have a monthly “allowance” that they can spend on whatever they want. What are some strategies you use to keep “fun” in the budget? Share in the comments below…