At a point in my life I decided to skip my yearly trip to visit my family for the summer and stay behind to stick to a rigorous saving plan. That was one of the worst years I remember! While I don’t need much to enjoy myself, and give into few luxuries, giving up that summer visit made the year long, strenuous and sad.
While we should be responsible with money and save for that rainy day, there is also the question of enjoying the present. I don’t mean you have to splurge and forget the future, but do give yourself those little pleasures, as experiences, that are invaluable.
I remember that year as an obsessive game of cutting expenses to the max. I bought second-hand and I felt guilty having a coffee that had not been home-brewed. Movies where out of the question. The trips to the library, as much as I enjoyed them, made me feel somewhat deprived. I like to own books, keep them, write on margins and enjoy the whole experience. Once in a while I did buy a second-hand book, but it took me a while to decide on the purchase.
Going to the market was also painful. Checking prices and spending quite a while debating whether organic or #whoknowswhatyouaregetting in your system!
After that year I gave up! I missed out on so many trips, dinners and outings for the sake of saving that I realized I wasn’t living fully. While I am still careful with money, I will spend it a bit more liberally. If it’s an experience like going out for dinner with friends, I’m all for it! Or getting away to see my nieces and family.
I might not be saving much now, but at least I feel more satisfied and happier.
Save for the future but don’t give up small pleasures. Life is collecting experiences and some do cost a bit of money.