People often associate saving money with not being able to spend any, either.
In some cases, those who enact a budget or decide on a savings plan do so with nothing more than tunnel vision in mind as far as how to save money and deprive themselves from something as rudimentary as a pack of socks or going out to eat here and there.
The question remains if you can truly be happy with saving money when you’re spending (or not), and the answer seems to allude the masses.
The fact remains that saving money starts with knowing your numbers, creating that aforementioned plan and then putting together a budget. That budget holds the key to that proverbial happiness as far as money goes.
You can’t have a budget that is too strict, too rigid and doesn’t give a lot of room for not spending money on yourself for a movie or something else inconsequential that isn’t overly expensive. This isn’t to suggest that you can take two vacations a year because you’ve been good otherwise, since those carry with it a sense of expenses that goes far beyond a $20 date night.
The budgeting process has to, of course, take in expenses versus income but also looking at said expenses are ultimately determining a priority list. For example, if you want $100 per month to spend on restaurant dining with your wife, for instance, maybe you’d be willing to skip out on a high end cable television package. Or, you can keep the cable and get rid of those vast array of streaming services or membership clubs you belong to. It doesn’t take a whole lot of $10 to $15 per month charges to add up to the same amount of money you’d rather be spending on a night out.
The problem we tend to run into is that we do both, and don’t account for a dinner or two, or three, out during the month, and then we wonder why we come up woefully short on a plan that really isn’t working well, or at all. The issue isn’t that you don’t want to have a good budget but rather you’re not thinking through it completely.
There’s no budget that has been written that doesn’t say you can’t enjoy yourself but yet temper that spending with knowing you can do so without forgoing something like a utility bill or putting a certain percentage in a savings account.
Whether your refer to it as perception or smoke and mirrors, the fact is the black and white proof is in a budget that is yours to control. What you do with it ultimately will determine your level of happiness, but remember you’re the one who has the power to create it, change it and make it work to your advantage.
Previous: Taking Credit: How to spot when you need debt help Next: Tossing Aside: Are you wasting money too easily?