Keep Your Budget Manageable By Making Luxury Indulgences Rare

Keep Your Budget Manageable by Making Luxury Indulgences Rare

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]


    I used to let myself indulge every fortnight. Not to a massive extent (I had a mortgage), but I tried to spend $100 a pay on myself, whether it was a couple of DVD's, some clothes, or even a nice bottle of booze.

    If I didnt spend it, then it could mean spending a little more the next fortnight, or the one after, or getting something a little more expensive every 3 months, but I found those smaller indulgences meant I didnt go eyeballing a $1000 piece of tech, then overspend just to have it.

    I kept the same phone for 5 years before I recently upgraded, and even then I bought last years model outright rather than sign onto a 2 year plan. So now I can keep on my BYO plan, and save a tenner a month. That $19/month gives me more than enough.

    Be smart in how you indulge, and it doesnt need to be a budget destroyer. It can do the opposite, and get you into good habits, because you then start budgeting for that next fortnight, and get your mind onto whatever else will need paying.

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