Will Drool for Shoes

Recently, one of my favorite finance bloggers Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar posted an interesting thoughts surrounding rewarding yourself for being good. That’s actually the title: How to Avoid the Trap of Splurging as a Reward for “Being Good”. Now Trent is a smart guy and a great resource for, as his tag line states, “financial talk for the rest of us” but we don’t always agree. And that’s fine. He speaks to ultimate frugality and I, to fashion.

While any excess is usually too extreme, treating oneself with gifts is simply Pavlovian Theory. Ya know, where the dogs salivate because after associating the ringing of a bell with meal time. After a while you salivate or perform better because you are conditioned to. I do well and treat myself to a movie or new suit. Where is the harm Trent?

A reward lets you know that you did something extraordinary. What love is greater than self love? This method can be dangerous though and it does take personal discipline.  Rewarding yourself for every accomplishment is simply over indulgence and you are setting yourself back in your financial plan by rationalizing frivolous spending. “I did not hit the snooze button this morning. I jumped right out of bed! Therefore, I deserve new shoes…New Shoes; New Shoes!!!” While this way of thinking will result in a fabulous closet it will also result in a broke [beep]*.  You know the rest. “I successfully taught financial literacy to eleven high school students culminating in a successful, high powered awards ceremony”. Now I deserve new shoes!

If you do plan on rewarding yourself with gifts, make sure you can legitimately afford to do so. Trent lists recommendations of ways to plan for or break this ‘habit’ and his last one was actually what I do now.

Keep an entertainment portion of your budget. If you still want to splurge but want to control it, keep a portion of your budget for entertainment and make all splurge purchases come out of that portion.

Don’t ever let someone make you feel guilty for treating yourself (an undeserving boyfriend, definitely). But remember too much of a good thing is….well, glitter! Enjoy the end of summer. Fall’s ‘a comin’

 

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