The Three Essentials: Part Three – Spending
Everyone appreciates the satisfaction of buying something they want. You’ve worked hard for your money. You should be able to enjoy the rewards of it. It’s tough when you only see your money going to bills and debt. Can you actually get to the place where you can spend and not feel guilty? You bet you can!
Spending money is fun when you know you can afford something. Create your budget. By doing so, you’ve given yourself freedom to spend within certain boundaries. You know you have money allotted so now you can enjoy.
If you give yourself $50 per month for clothing, you can go shopping for a few shirts one month. You can decide to save that up for a few months and get a good pair of shoes or some jeans. Or, if you’re a big spender, you can save that amount for six months and enjoy a shopping spree.
Once you’re in control, it changes everything. The guilt disappears when you purchase something. Your mind frees itself of unnecessary stress. You can do the things that you’ve wanted to and not have to worry about paying it off three, six, or twelve months later. You can fully enjoy the product you completely own.
I realize that we have come into a season that greatly limits this. If you’ve lost your income right now, the only thing you should be spending money on is your basic needs: food, shelter, utilities, and transportation. Everything else gets put on hold. If you have an emergency fund built up, use that to pay your non-essential bills.
If you still have your income but things are a bit tight, keep paying off your debt and saving what you can. You can enjoy spending a bit, but don’t go crazy right now. Get a little something for yourself here and there, but that’s it.
If you’ve done really well at saving over the years, continue to enjoy spending and buying from places that are open right now. I’m sure they would greatly appreciate whatever revenue they can get to keep them going (I do mean within the social distancing protocols).
The biggest thing to think about with spending is your behaviour. You can enjoy the rush of spending money if you have cash in hand. Do not purchase things just because you’re feeling bored, emotional, or fearful. That mentality of shopping will never get you ahead in life. If you are a shopaholic, you need to really stick closely to your budget. Find someone to hold you accountable to your spending habits.
Be careful. I know it is tempting to panic financially at this time. Take a breath and put your emotions aside. Don’t let fear cause you to purchase unnecessary things and rack up your credit cards. Allow yourself to stay calm and think ahead.
I was listening to a podcast last night that explained this scenario. When cows see a storm coming, they try to run away from it. Eventually the storm will still catch them and they’ll be stuck riding it out for a while. Buffalo on the other hand run into the storm. They face it head on and come out of the storm quicker.
Be a buffalo right now. See this season as a challenge for you to rise up. Take it as an opportunity to review your priorities and pray about what you should be doing. If you’re out of work, look for places that are hiring regardless of the type of work it is. I’m sure companies like Amazon and Skip the Dishes are overloaded with work at the moment. I read that some nursing homes are looking for extra hands as well. Do what you can to weather the storm and provide for your families.
Overall, if you have a budget and you’ve worked hard, you deserve to enjoy your money. Relish in your achievements and have some fun shopping.
Remember to keep saving. Also remember to be generous and learn what fun it can be to bless others.
There are so many in need right now. If you have money to give, do it! Be extremely generous and bless the socks off of people. They won’t forget it. You’ll inspire them to want to do the same as well. What better way to help our communities stay focused on what is good right now?