Financially, this translates into saving for the future – retirement and college accounts, paying off the mortgage, ensuring we have an emergency stash if we hit a bump in the road.
We also firmly believe in giving to others, so we tithe weekly, and select various causes and charities to support throughout the year.
This saving and giving is not easy. It takes discipline and sacrifice. And frankly, sometimes it just sucks!
Oh believe me, there are times I want to run the credit card bill up, or eat out more often. And it is so easy to play the comparison game with your friends and neighbors.
- How are they paying for that kitchen remodel?
- They’re taking another trip to Hawaii!
- She is sporting a new pair of shoes EVERY SINGLE WEEK!
- What are we doing wrong?
While these sentiments creep up occasionally, I know it‘s a waste to compare. Unless you know the full story of someone else’s circumstances, you just don’t know. Your neighbor could appear to be “living large,” but have equally large financial hardships. Or maybe one of your friends has a generous parent who is still doling out funds. It happens.
So what’s a frugal, responsible girl to do?
Keep your eye on your own respective goals, and reward yourself with small delights.
I know those pesky financial planners tell you to strike the daily latte from your budget. Fortunately, I don’t have that habit.
But, I do like buying fresh flowers to bring a little sunshine to our house, and I am a firm believer in a well-stocked chocolate stash. My husband and I aim to attend a few concerts a year. And I love me a decadent lotion and great scented candle.
Just like the best nutritionists say, “You can’t deprive yourself all the time. Moderation is key.”
I have found as you start to make a dent in your savings goals, the task becomes slightly easier. But when I fall prey to comparing myself to our peers, I just light a candle, pop a chocolate and zen out.
What are your favorite mini-splurge items?