Eventually, I started making a bit more money and had a little financial wiggle room. I started to engage in decadent things like full-priced movie tickets, non-pre-owned clothing, and living by myself. $30 sundresses from Target! The luxury!And then I started to make even a little bit more money. And I could drink $12 cocktails, like, once a week.
Every once in a while I’d spend more than $30 on a piece of clothing. I HAVE ARRIVED! I AM FANCY NOW!But the funny thing was, even though I was making more money – I was saving the same amount.I fell into the trap of spending money because I “could.”
“Grown-ups with real incomes go out to eat a lot. Maybe I’ll do that now?”
“I can afford Aveda shampoo and I want to smell like fancy dirt. I’m going to spend $12 on that bottle.”
“It seems like expensive haircuts are better. Are they better? That salon is full of cute girls. I’m sure I’ll be cuter if I pay them $60 to cut my hair.”
But when I really thought about it, those $15 an entree meals and $12 shampoo and $60 haircuts weren’t particularly awesome. Or rather, they didn’t make me happy or make my life easier, the way that some other purchases did.
I decided to actively notice which purchases that made me happiest.
I realized that:
Travel made me happy.
Mid-day pedicures with my girlfriends made me happy.
Perfectly ripe produce and amazing cheese made me happy.
Funny art prints and colorful throw pillows made me happy.
These earrings made me happy.
Name brand clothing, manicures, expensive meals, non-costume jewelry, cable, $4 coffees did not make me happy.
These things are really great and totally happy-i-fying for some people! It just so happened that – when I really thought about it, I realized – they did nothing for me.
So I stopped spending money on things because I “could” or because I thought that’s what “adults who work hard for their money” do.
I started putting my money where my happy was.
And you know what? Now I’m happier and my savings account is too.Figure out what brings you joy and then buy it. Skimp on the other stuff. It's that simple! Click To Tweet
How do you budget for the things you love? Do you ever find yourself spending more money when you’re earning more?