Just because you have a budget, doesn’t mean you HAVE to spend ALL of your budget
I noticed some posts on here recently about people feeling guilty about spending money, even though they can afford it and have budgeted for it, since it’s hard for them to get out of the “frugal” mindset. The general response seemed to be that they should learn to accept that it’s okay to spend money on some things—that’s what setting a budget is for, after all.
While this is great advice, I seem to have the opposite problem of these people—I am a bit too okay with spending money. I have a set amount of “fun” funds that I set aside every paycheck, but because I’m lucky enough to not have anything I really need to save up for, every so often my fun funds will pile up and I’ll find myself looking for things to spend my money on—because heck, I’ve already budgeted for this, so it should be alright, right? But the thing is, I don’t really need these things, and sometimes don’t even want them that much to begin with; I’m literally just looking for an excuse to waste money. It actually got kind of stressful because I wanted to “make the most” of my budget but had nowhere to spend it (sounds crazy, right?). A few months ago I spent almost $3000 on an instrument that I’ve played maybe twice since then. Looking back, did I need to spend that $3000? Probably not. I could’ve put that money in the S&P500 or something instead and made $300, and I probably would’ve gotten more enjoyment out of seeing my portfolio go up $300 than I got from playing that instrument twice.
So I guess learning to be okay with spending money can be a double-edged sword. If you’re someone like me who might spring for the next “upgrade” just because you can afford it, even though it’s more than you need and isn’t as good a value, it might be helpful to take a step back and consider whether or not that upgrade is really worth it. Since coming to that conclusion, I’ve cut back my wasteful spending considerably, and the stress of not “making the most” of my budget is gone.
Have any of you had a similar experience to mine?