I had a rough week last week, guys. I’m temporarily working three part time jobs on top of my full time job instead of my usual two. The house is a mess. I’ve been having some health issues. I’m missing friends from out of state. On Friday, all I wanted to do was go shopping. Treat yo’ self, right?
I made a deal with myself as I waited for the bus after work. If the B came first, I’d just go home. If the D came, the bus that took me to my beloved TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, than it was meant to be. I’d go shopping.
The B came first.
Cranky and disappointed, I went home and clicked on a couple sites I like to shop online, but it just stressed me out more. I’d made a no-buy promise this year, or at least a no-unnecessary-buy promise. Was it worth breaking it to temporarily lift my mood?
The next day, my husband had a four-hour break. We walked around our favorite botanical garden, where we get in for free with our membership, and just getting out of the house and spending time together lifted my mood. We talked about going out to eat, but decided to go to our city’s market district instead. We bought fresh gnocchi, fresh mushroom ravioli, prosciutto, some nice cheese, pierogies, lobster rolls, fresh bread. All our favorites, and enough for several fancy at-home meals.
Did we end up spending more money than we would have if we stayed home or grocery shopped on a budget? Yup. We treated ourselves. Those lobster rolls aren’t cheap!
But did we spend as much money as we would have before our frugal financial wake-up? Definitely not. All our groceries cost less than a fancy meal out, and picking them together and walking around gave us way more pleasure than sitting down at a restaurant would have.
Today’s lesson: everything in moderation. Even moderation.
No matter what your budget or schedule, you have to find room for fun. Whether it’s buying a candy bar once a week or scheduling a game night with friends, you need to have some sort of a “Me Fund.” Maybe you’re fortunate enough to have a 10k “Me Fund” like this woman (who, for the record, I think is getting some unnecessary flack) or maybe it’s $5 a month. Maybe it’s not money, but time– an extra break for yourself on Fridays to just sit and do nothing.
Sometimes I feel like I stress so much about my budget and my savings account and paying off debt that I forget to focus on the present day. You can’t abandon living your life just because you’re working/saving/sacrificing for a better life– you have to try to start living your life the best you can now.
Do you have any tips that help you stay in the moment?