Indulging yourself feels great. Like anything that feels great, it's easy to turn what should be a rare treat into a daily habit. This won't just destroy your budget, though. It can make the things you enjoy worth less, as well.
Photo by Costanavarino.
As personal finance blog The Simple Dollar explains, when a luxury becomes normal, it loses a lot of what made you enjoy it in the first place. A rare reprieve from normal instead becomes the new normal. Sometimes that can be great, but it can also become a burden:
But there's a big problem with luxury items: they quickly begin to seem normal, and when they do, your life just became more expensive. How many of you survived just fine without cell phones 10 or 15 years ago? I know I certainly did, but now it's a luxury I can scarcely imagine living without. The same goes for high-speed Internet access. For many people, things like cable television or a new (or new-ish) car falls into the same category -- luxuries you've become completely accustomed to, to the point where you won't do without them.
Of course, sometimes raising the bar for normal is a good thing. Getting lost used to mean wandering a city for hours or guiding yourself by star light, and now home is a Google search away. However, if your new normal consists of paying hundreds of dollars every month for something that you don't even like anymore, you're only hurting yourself by indulging.
How to Find Luxury in a Financially Responsible Life [The Simple Dollar via Rockstar Finance]