Don’t get me wrong; it is essential to reward yourself if you have achieved a goal in life. The Protestant Work ethic, which I grew up with, suggests the statement, “What do you want? A Medal? You did what you were supposed to!” is more apropos. Remember that the reward should be tempered with the nature of the goal that you have achieved. Let’s splurge is not the sentiment you should have.
What do I mean? If you have managed to battle a significant illness and are healthy again, going out to dinner with a loved one to celebrate is undoubtedly a fair payment for that achievement. However, there are countless examples which I will now elaborate on to show that sometimes the reward is more of a punishment:
- You have not bought lunch at work for the week. You celebrate with your wife on Friday evening by going to a nice restaurant for dinner. That is much like an AA member celebrating their 100-day chip with a bottle of champagne. It makes no sense to me.
- You have paid off your credit cards altogether. You decide to celebrate by taking your family on a well-deserved vacation. Unless you have been saving for this vacation and are planning on paying for it with cash, this is the same as picking the scab off a healing wound. Find something cheaper to celebrate
- I have finished my Christmas shopping and have come in under budget so I’ll take the leftover money and buy myself a lovely gift. Why not take that money and pay off debt? Maybe donate the money to charity. At least you get a tax write-off with it.
- You finally have paid off your car and decided it is time to trade it in and get a new one. OK, this does happen a lot, folks. Why not keep the car and enjoy not having payments? If the vehicle is a lemon, then I could see some reason for the idea. If the vehicle is working fine, why do you need to get back into debt for an asset that loses value?
Let’s Splurge Isn’t a Bad Thing?
I guess I sound a little curmudgeonly on this list. Please keep in mind that spending money freely for some of us is like a drug. The more you spend, the more you want to spend. This is where a lot of us get into our financial dilemmas.
Congratulations if you reach your goal but celebrate frugally, and you will feel even better later. Let’s splurge?