I was chatting with a fellow new-homeowner this weekend about splurging. She and her husband are using up some flight credits and going on a trip in a few weeks. It’s a spur of the moment thing, and she’s feeling guilty about it since they just bought the house and we have been ranting about the unemployed friend who has been squandering her money (the money she doesn’t have).
I reminded her that there’s a difference – they’re splurging and they can afford it. Sure, they could put the money towards the house, but this is a trip they want to take (and they would lose the flight credits if they don’t use them). It will be a fun, worthwhile trip. And they’ll have money later to put towards the house. They’re paying their bills, they aren’t in debt to anyone (except the mortgage company, of course), so why not have a little fun?
I think we all need to splurge a little. Even if you’re trying to dig yourself out of debt, if you keep yourself to a strict budget and don’t leave room for any fun, you’ll end up angry and bitter, or worse, you’ll end up splurging way beyond your means. How much to splurge depends on you and your situation. Maybe you get a Netflix subscription, maybe you buy a new book every month, maybe you take one frugal trip a year.
Life is all about balance. You just have to remember to keep that balance.