I have met a lot of people who have taken steps to improve their finances in an incredible way, and then they fall victim to "the urge". What is "the urge"? It takes shape in various forms. Here are a few …
- I have put off fun too long. I deserve to have some fun. It is OK to take a vacation and pay for it with our credit card.
- That [insert item here] is AWESOME! I want it. No, I don't want it. I need it! It is OK to use my emergency fund for this purchase.
- I am tired of telling my kids, "NO!" It will be OK to give in just this once and buy the item using some of our savings for the future.
- The roof is leaking! I don't want to live in a dump anymore. I am going to move out of here, and I don't care how much it costs. Who cares if I do not have a down payment or the income to support a larger mortgage payment.
In each case, there is a conscious choice to disregard logical and rational thinking, and we jump into the soup – regardless of the potential future cost.
Here are the top ways I have been able to resist the urge (remember that I am a spender – I definitely experience "the urge")
- We build some "fun" into the budget every single month. We also save every single month for our known, upcoming, non-monthly expenses like vacation and Christmas.
- Jenn and I each receive spending money every month that we are not accountable to the other for how it is spent. This allows us to give in to some of "the urge" without destroying the family finances.
- We make it a point to talk to our daughter about "why" we are saving money and putting off some purchases. She knows that Baby Sangl is going to cost us a lot of money in healthcare costs. She also knows that we are against all debt on non-appreciating assets (we don't like that type of debt much either). It reduces the quantity of "I want that!" statements from her too!
- We save for the known upcoming expenses of home repairs. Most homes are not dumps, they just break down like everything else. By saving for some of them, we get to see progress.
Any that you would add?