Life is a funny thing. Our best laid plans are often thrown by the wayside and we take a turn into a direction that we never thought possible. Sometimes everything changes and sometimes nothing does, but all in all, I have learned to never count on things unfolding the way that I want them to. I am a very big believer that you need to make yourself a priority, because, lets face it, no one else will. This priority that I speak of encompasses finances, health, appearance, and all around well being. Now you may wonder why I’m mentioning this in a personal finance blog. Well, the truth is that a lot of us don’t focus on living life when we get into the “debt snowball” phase. Yes, paying off debt is important, and yes I rather own a house that I pay money into every month than my student loans, but there has to be a compromise. There simply must.
I, like every other female, have days when I simply feel the urge to buy something shiny. No, I don’t mean bling, but something classy, that helps me feel a bit more in control when things simply aren’t progressing according to plan. I like being frugal, and watching where I spend my money. I think anyone who recognizes their financial situation would, but I also take time out to do things that I really enjoy doing. Whether its a new shade of nail polish, sushi with friends, soccer, or travelling; I do things that bring me joy.
I think I may get stoned for saying this, but I wholeheartedly believe that a “fun” fund is one of my top priorities, and it should be yours as well. There are studies done that talk about debt fatigue. Debt fatigue essentially a mental phase where individuals are mentally can not cope with the slow reduction in their overall debt and start going the other way instead. I recognize that the money that I spend on hobbies could be allocated to pay off some interest on my student loans, but in all honestly, I couldn’t care less. My thinking goes like this, we live life once. Now we spend 2-3 years of our lives eating rice and noodles to become debt free, or enjoy the life “in moderation” and go along for the ride.
My love of travel is quite apparent on this blog. There is nothing quite like sitting on the stairs in the middle of Times Square at 2 am answering emails. Nothing beats that feeling. Nothing.
When I started this blog, it was meant to be a diary of some sorts, a journey to help me stay accountable in my quest to become debt free. Somewhere along the way I discovered this great big world of personal finance. Now the world of personal finance is great, its a great community where everyone is extremely supportive and motivating. This is where I failed. While I had/have every intention of directing every single penny towards debt repayment, I somehow created a secret fun fund instead.
I couldn’t do it. I tried, oh believe me I tried to be as disciplined as most, but I couldn’t. I value my experiences so much more than I thought I did. As I result I felt like there was something wrong with me. With the way I handled my finances; with the things that motivated. Turns out that my priorities are just different than most. While being paying off my car, clearing up my credit card made me really proud and happy, I needed little things as pick me ups.
And you know what? There is nothing wrong with that. You deserve everything that makes you happy, as long as there is an end goal in play. As long was you are ok with end result of your choices. I know that paying for soccer allows me to keep active and spend 3 hours a week with friends, and I finally alright with the costs.
Just in case anyone felt judgy (not sure if that is a word) here is a list of things that make me smile…even though they cost money.
Ps. Apologies for the lousy graphic- its my first time with Adobe Illustrator.