Saturday, June 4th, 2022

12 Steps to Financial Freedom. -8 Know When and How to Indulge

 

Living a life of financial wellness means being happy with a lifestyle that’s within your means, but doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re lacking. At the same time, financial wellness means money choices are governed by discipline and not by emotion. So how do you strike a balance between the two?

Here’s how to indulge responsibly.

 

Live with a budget

To do this, track your spending for three months. Next, make a list of all your expenses and list your income in a parallel column. Tally up your totals and assign a realistic dollar amount to each expense. Going forward, be sure to only spend within the allocated amount for each expense category.

Leave room in your budget for “just for fun” purchases

As you work on building a budget, leave room for the occasional treat. The exact amount will vary by income level, lifestyle and personal choice. However, wisely choose an amount you can easily afford without feeling deprived.

Review your savings

Before giving yourself permission to indulge, make sure you’re setting aside some of your monthly income to savings. Ideally, short-term savings should be enough to keep you afloat for 3-6 months if you have no source of income. Long-term savings should be sufficient to support your retirement and any long-term savings goal you may have.

 

Choose your “treats”

Everyone’s got a personal vice or three. Take a look at where your non-discretionary money went over the last month and highlight the more expensive impulse buys. Hold these purchases up to these questions:

  • Did this purchase bring me happiness or positive energy the day I bought it? How long did that feeling last?
  • Did this impulse buy blow my budget?
  • Does thinking about this purchase now fill me with joy, guilt, or something else?

 

Use the insight about your indulgences to help you make better money choices in the future.

 

Lose the guilt

Once you’ve decided how much you want to spend each month on indulgences, it’s time to let go of guilt. If you’re spending responsibly, there’s no need to beat yourself up over an impulse buy you could have done without. As long as you’re keeping these just-for-fun purchases within your budget, you can maintain your financial wellness.

 

Read Step 1: How to Track Your Spending

Read Step 2: Creating a Budget

Read Step 3: Pay Down Debt

Read Step 4: Have the Money Talk With Your Partner

Read Step 5: Practice Mindful Spending

Read Step 6: Pay It Forward

Read Step 7: How to Pay Yourself First

Read Step 8: Know When and How to Indulge

Read Step 9: Build and Maintain an Excellent Credit Score

 

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