Lately, I have observed instances of very disturbing behavior!!! One instance involved a young lady I know (whom shall remain nameless), purchasing a pair of Louboutin shoes while being one month late on her car payment. Another involved an unemployed gentleman who used, I assume, his unemployment checks to make a deposit on an exotic vacation.
This behavior is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, I understand wanting to treat yourself, but these are the crème de la crème of treats. Many young people are not just over spending on nights to the movies or a new dress from Forever 21. We are talking about top of the line SPLURGES. I’ve heard of keeping up with the Joneses, but who are the Joneses now? Celebrities? If you are trying to keep up with the trends celebrities set, believe me you are going to fail in more ways than one. You are going to FAIL at attaining the mass amount of material possessions they own and you just might FAIL in many aspects of your personal life, by putting crazy spending habits first and everything else second.
I’m not saying not to spend your money and buy the things you desire. However, these purchases or “Ball Out” moments, should be well thought out and infrequent. Before you can even consider whether or not to “Ball Out” on a purchase, you should have the following items in order:
- A realistic budget that you have been sticking to for at least 3 months
- At least one month of salary saved
- Participation in your retirement program at work
- No delinquencies on any expenses
If this is the case, you may really deserve to make a small splurge. Having these 4 key things in order shows that you exemplify the appropriate behavior that will allow you to live a more comfortable lifestyle in the future. Many times a gift to yourself can be just the motivation you need to get your booty in that seat on time Monday morning at work and reaffirm your decision to be more financially responsible. However, keep in mind you still have a long way to go. So don’t go breaking the bank and spending all of the hard earned money you saved. When you want to splurge, I recommend spending no more than 10% of your savings and make this no more than twice per year.
When it comes to saving money everyone has to start somewhere. And once you start to see your bank account grow and better understand money, you will be more protective over how your dollars are spent. Reaffirming your hard work through rewards reinforces good financial behavior which is what you will need to attain wealth and financial freedom.