“What the heck, I deserve it!”
Have you ever said that phrase to yourself when debating making a purchase or going out shopping?
It’s a line that’s often used to rationalize spending money on something that you’re tempted by in the moment.
Usually this is either money you don’t really have (and so you use credit instead) or money that’s earmarked for something else (like getting out of debt or funding a big future goal.)
You do deserve good things
My argument is that yes, you do deserve whatever it is if it’s something that you really want and you can afford it without getting sucked into minimum payments. (Note the “if” and the “and” in that last sentence.)
We all deserve good things in life — but there’s something else we deserve that’s even more important: to treat ourselves and our future with respect.
We also deserve to live a life free of money-worries and stress.
If we spend money we don’t have or that we need for something else, we don’t get what we really deserve. So what happens when we’re tempted to overspend?
When it comes to deciding between buying something you want right now vs. getting what you really deserve in your life long term, it can help to ask questions like these:
- Do I deserve to be stressed out and worried about money?
- Do I deserve to pay 16% more for this, every month for the next 2 years?
- Does my child deserve to follow me into a cycle of debt because they see me carrying a normal-seeming balance on credit cards?
- Do I deserve to come up short for what I really want (financial security, to be debt-free, a worry-free vacation next summer, etc) because I bought this thing that I won’t remember in 3 months?
Obviously, the answer is no.
Questions like those help to separate out short-term attempts at feeling better (that may even make you feel worse in the long run) from the things that will actually bring you lasting happiness and a solid financial future.
That’s not to say it’s “bad” to splurge or treat yourself from time to time. But the key is to put splurges into your budget.
So go ahead: get what you really deserve instead.