Saving money and being frugal is a great way to live, and it can not only lessen stress and lead to more financial freedom, but it is actually extremely rewarding as well. Watching your bank account slowly grow (or your debts shrink) is a great feeling. But, just like with all things that are hard, sometimes we all fall off the bus or simply are forced to work contrary to the goal. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. In fact, I’m going to argue today that there are at least three situations in which it’s 100% okay to not be frugal.
1. Special Occasions
With the holidays in full swing, it can be hard to continue to save money and be frugal. There are gifts to buy for friends and family, people to visit, and days you’ll have to take off of work (hopefully with vacation). And that’s totally okay. Weddings happen. Birthdays and holidays are once-a-year things. Don’t stress it.
I believe the real essence of being frugal is saving money and living at a quality of life you’re okay with. No one wants to just sit home alone and work constantly—that’s a recipe for depression and exhaustion if I’ve ever heard one. And believe me, I’ve been there. I can tell you that you’ll be much happier spending a little money to drive to your family’s house or to buy your kids or spouse a gift they’ve been wanting. Plan a budget, but don’t worry if occasionally you aren’t able to save. After all, those special occasions only happen every once in a while.
2. Personal Upkeep
I’m not talking about pampering yourself at the spa—I’m talking about buying new shoes to replace ones with holes or getting a haircut to make it easier to manage in the mornings. You might need glasses or a new winter coat occasionally, and there’s no way around it. Don’t look at those personal upkeep expenses as splurging—it’s an investment. Just make sure you’re only doing it when necessary, and look for the best bargains if you can!
3. Avoiding Burnout
Living on a shoestring budget can wear on you after a while. Believe me, I know. Working all the time and going day after day after day without having any money to spend on something fun for yourself can be hard. Occasionally—and I’m talking once a month or every couple months, as your budget allows—set aside a tiny bit of money for something just for yourself. You don’t have to spend a ton—sometimes spending $10 to go out to eat or $20 on a new shirt simply because you liked it can be a lot of fun. And, as a bonus, having a budget for such things will help curb the impulse to buy at other times.
Are there any times you simply can’t find yourself being frugal? Let me know in the comments below!