When it comes to frugal living, many people try to avoid spending any money at all. Frugal living requires planning, and for many that means planning how to cut as much spending as possible from the budget.
But is it always a bad thing to spend money?
Some Things are Worth Spending Money On
No matter what you think of frugal living, the truth is that some things are worth spending money on. Spending money on these things doesn’t mean that you aren’t frugal, or that you are doing something wrong. What’s important is that your spending be based on value.
In the case of buying something that is high in quality, spending more is obvious. If you don’t want to be constantly buying something over and over again as it breaks, you need to pay extra for something of high quality. In such cases, it’s not about the cheapest thing; it’s bout the best value. Sometimes that means calculating the total cost over time. Spending a little more now can be worth it if it means that you will save in the long run.
Sometimes, though, what you spend money on is worth it because it’s important to you. Sometimes, spending money on things that you enjoy, or enhance your quality of life is worth it. The key, though, is to make sure that you really feel as though the expenditure will improve your life, or help you in some way. If you really enjoy travel, it doesn’t make sense to spend your money buying expensive trinkets to display in your home. Instead, you are better served saving up for a vacation.
Some things are worth spending money on, but you want to make sure you will truly value them. Spending money on the stuff that’s just “okay” doesn’t make sense in the long run. You need to decide what you really enjoy, and what you want your life to look like. Set your financial goals, and your life goals, and then plan your spending around what will help you reach those goals, whether it’s finding an extra $200 a month to pay off the mortgage earlier, or setting aside money to take the whole family on a great vacation.
Live Within Your Means
Just because some things are worth spending money on — due to emotional or practical value — doesn’t mean that you have license to rack up the debt and live beyond your means. It’s vital that you live within your means, taking care that you have your present and future accounted for. Before you go out to eat, you need to contribute to your emergency fund, and make your retirement account contribution. Save up for that new swing set for the kids rather than putting it on your credit card.
No, it’s not always bad to spend money. It can enhance your enjoyment of life. But, at the same time, you have to keep your spending under control. You should have the money available when you spend it. The key is balance.