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I don’t know about ya’ll, but I LOVE to shop. It’s one of my favorite past times. I tend to not shop for myself, but for my friends and family more often than not, but what I don’t like is what constant shopping does to my budget. The thing is though, that NOT shopping can also be detrimental to my budget. I don’t mean, “oops, we slid off a bit” kind of detrimental either. I mean full on “holy cow, that was a massive explosion with multiple casualties” kind of detrimental.
How you ask?
The splurge factor.
How many times have you told yourself that you were going to stop spending for two or three months? If you’re like me, it’s probably been a lot. You start off awesomely strong, you’re the Wonder Woman of spending saving money and taking names when you do it and then bam! There’s a pair of shoes you fall in love with, a new purse you have to have, maybe a kitchen appliance you’ve been drooling over and suddenly? All of that money you saved is gone and you’re sitting at the computer staring at your budget wondering what happened.
When we tighten our waistlines for a long period of time (and I mean 2 or more months), we set ourselves up to fail. You can have willpower of steel, but eventually you’re going to get very tired of sitting at home every night and weekend and buying nothing. When that happens, it get very dangerous for your budget. Eventually you’ll want to buy something that isn’t budgeted and if that happens, it could very, very easily snowball into one really big ball of spending. I have seen people destroy their finances because of this…financially wise people, intelligent people, people who simply had not spent any money on themselves in too long. I’ve seen entire families ruined financially and please trust me when I say that it isn’t a pretty sight.
So how do you avoid it happening? You Splurge.
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The splurge factor is the one thing that can avoid any random, willy-nilly spending. In short, it means that you…need to spend…on you. If you’re moving along, saving money left and right and you don’t take a few dollars for yourself every couple of months or so, you’ll find that the itch to spend slowly creeps in. Ignore it and you’ll run the risk of doing damage. Indulge it once and yes, you’ll be spending some of the money you saved, but you’ll also be keeping things in line instead of risking everything going sideways.
Now I do want to make something clear; I am not in any way saying go blow your savings account every 3 months. FAR from it! When you do buy your splurge purchase, make it a small one. Try to keep it under $50.00 and even then I think that’s too much money. It doesn’t have to be a huge item, just something small that you’ve been wanting, but have been telling yourself no on. It may seem counter-intuitive to spend money to successfully save money, but it’s far better to do things this way than blow your entire savings account on a whim.
If you’re just coming off of a 30 day spending freeze, be sure that you do give yourself a little room to splurge a bit. As crazy as it sounds, your budget and your savings account will thank you.
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