November 12th, 2011
The Most Money I’ve Ever Spent
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Here’s some financial advice we don’t hear enough: spend your money. The best financial motivation isn’t to focus on making, saving, or investing money—instead, focus on spending it.
What could I have done with an extra windfall of cash? I could have spent the money paying down my credit card debt, made an extra payment on my loans, or pumped up my savings, like most financial blogs would advise. Instead, I decided to spend it, which makes it the most money I’ve ever spent at one time. It was, without a doubt, the right financial decision.
How to Spend Without Feeling Guilty
What would you do if you had the money to spend on anything? For me, it’s travel. And I’ve spent the last year skipping weekend trips, bringing lunch to work most days, and automatically depositing a chunk of my paycheck in my slush fund marked “Go on vacation already!!” Thanks to many responsible financial steps, I was finally in a position to make my dreams come true.
So I did.
A few clicks on a travel website and $2,000 later, I had booked for a trip to Jamaica. But the first feeling I had wasn’t excitement or joy—it was guilt.
I felt guilty about spending so much money, especially when there were bills, loans, credit cards, and more to be paid. So I reminded myself that I’d been working hard for this, and I, as well as all of you, deserve to spend my money the way I want to.
Why You Need To Spend More Money
We read financial articles and blogs all the time, and 95% are about pinching pennies, frugal finds, and how to turn last night’s leftovers into today’s lunch. But I think we forget sometimes what’s at the heart of all this. We save, scrimp, and pay down debt to make our financial dreams come true.
Sometimes we just need to hear it: spend money towards what you want. Isn’t that why you’re clipping more coupons so you can save money towards taking our dream vacation, or you’re building your credit score to buy your dream home? Once you get to that financial position, that’s what money is for—not just to accumulate, but to get to the necessities as well as the luxuries of life.
Of course, you shouldn’t go on vacation at the cost of plunging deep into debt or dipping into your 401(k). But don’t forget that the whole point of financial security is to be secure enough to pursue the life we want.
Remember that part of smart financial management is being able to spend your money in ways that have a high ROI of happiness for you. It doesn’t have to be a $2,000 vacation; it could be a $2.00 vanilla latte every day. The point is to make your saving habits truly worthwhile by spending money on the things that are most important to you.
Keep up the Karma,
Justine Rivero, Credit Advisor