I’ll probably get some flack for saying this, but I don’t consider all money the same. If you give me $100 and tell me it’s to pay off my cell bill, it’s not the same as telling me it’s to buy my next coin :) Sure it’s technically still $100 either way you look at it, but emotionally it’s completely different.
(And if you haven’t figured out by now, I base a bulk of my decisions on emotions over facts – though of course those are also important to keep in mind)
To me, money is more than just stats and numbers. It’s a part of your lifestyle. It helps you get from point A to a better point B depending on how you use it. And for that I divide mine up as follows:
- Money for all my bills
- Money for saving/investing/debt slaying
- Money for ME.
The first one there is the least exciting of the categories, but also one of the most important. So I allocate all that first and foremost (I don’t “pay myself first” as people like to say) and then I count all the rest as “extra.” To be applied into category #2 – GROWING my net worth. Depending on my current goals, this will either flow into our savings accounts or our investment accounts (Roth IRA, Sep IRA), or – as it stands today – into our mortgage pay-off accounts.
As for category #3 – “money for ME” – that gets filled up anytime I get outside unexpected money and/or gifts. Receive a bonus of $300 from an employer? Money for me! All birthday and Christmas money thrown my way? Money for me! It all goes towards anything in the world I want regardless of budget and/or deals and/or anything at all that I normally obsess over ;)
THIS is the money that I enjoy the most. The stuff I praise higher than all the rest of the money flowing in. And to me, the stuff that’s *worth* the most in terms of happiness and excitement. I get much more joy out of a free $20 credit to TJ Maxx than I do $200 to buy new car tires! Now as I said, the money for bills and growing your savings is a billion times more important than any side money you bring in, but it still doesn’t change my feelings towards it all.
And that’s the main point of today’s post. Money in categories #1 and #2 is a must to reach financial freedom, but money from #3 is the stuff that keeps me sane and on track. Without #3 I’d probably bore myself to death and/or lose focus and start dipping into the money that’s supposed to be totally hands off. And that wouldn’t be good for anyone.
So point #2 for today? Give yourself some “no questions asked” spending money so you don’t crack under the financial pressures you’re putting on yourself. It doesn’t have to be much, but anything you can siphon off to relieve some stress and capture some fun will definitely be worth it. You can’t go hardcore 24/7 or you’ll crack!
That’s how my mind works anyways… I know it won’t be the same for everyone, but if you’re looking for permission to spend a little on yourself as a reward for all your hard work, consider it granted :) I’m gearing up to pick up my next fabulous gold coin… with 100% of money set aside from Christmas gifts. FINDING the time to go splurge on yourself now is a whole other situation, haha… I have yet to figure that one out ;)
Happy Friday, sexy bitches!
[Photo by @boetter, tweaked by J$]