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Keeping Appropriate Balance in Your Financial Life…

May 26, 2011

Just ask my wife….I get a little passionate about new things that I’m interested in. I pick a project or hobby and study it, read about it, practice it, tell everyone about it, and then eventually get burned out because I can get a little out of balance…

The other problem (other than getting burned out) is that I can, periodically, make life miserable for everyone around me because of my passion for the current theme in my life.

Which brings us to last Saturday.

It was my son’s birthday. We took him to one of the iFly places where we did indoor skydiving. So fun. But it was like $80, with the Groupon discount (I’m loving Groupon by the way…). Plus, we drove there, so it cost us gas money (I watch gas prices like a hawk). Then we ate lunch at Wendy’s, which obviously cost money. More driving. Then to my daughter’s gymnastics competition, which cost us almost &20 just to get our family in to watch her.

At one point, I and the boys got a little bored and my sweetheart suggested that we go drive around town and find some ice-cream…

My answer to that suggestion? “We’ve spent way too much money today. No one is getting ice-cream!”

And I immediately knew I was out-of-balance…

I get so excited about saving money so that at the end of the month I can move money from our checking account safely into the savings account. Love it! I think about it multiple times a month. Actually, multiple times a week.

But…

It makes sense, to avoid feeling too much financial pressure and burnout there needs to be a way to remain careful and frugal, without getting out of balance.

First off (and I know some people won’t like this), I budget too much money in certain categories. For us, it keeps us balanced. If I set my budget too low, I’ll do anything it takes to reach the goal, and they may end up hurting my family.

Secondly, I actually have a category that has no title. We never use any of the money in this category, so it always goes into savings. But it is there, and if we should get ice-cream one Saturday, we can.

Third, I make sure we are putting money in savings (auto-deposit) right at the start of the month so that I know, in the back of my mind, we’ve already been successful.

Not every family works the same as we do. I’d say we’re pretty self-disciplined, so having extra money budgeted in doesn’t give us license to just spend like crazy. In fact, it takes a little pressure off.

Plus…every once in a while…you need ice-cream…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    May 27, 2011 11:35 am

    A family who eats ice cream together stays together. Glad you found your balance. lv ya

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