Ever since I started writing about my debt, I have become intimately involved in my finances.
I keep an eye on Mint, but there are no longer any surprises.
The voice of reason asked me the other day what my student loan balance and interest rate were, and I could tell him off the top of my head.
But because I’m so involved in my finances and my debt pay off date, guilt can easily sneak in.
For example, this laptop? I don’t know if I really needed it. At the time, I was certain I did, but guilt got a hold of me, and made me second (and third!) guess my spending habits.
This is not healthy.
Guilt is your own worst enemy. If you buy something, BUY IT. Don’t justify it, if you love it, and you can afford* it, just buy it and move on.
I’m the worst with this, but I do see it on other personal finance blogs. If you beat yourself up over a purchase, guess what? The price doesn’t change. So maybe you shouldn’t have gone out for drinks with your friends on Friday night. That $20 could have gone elsewhere. But it’s done. And you had fun. And if you start feeling guilty, then the fun diminishes. You forget how much fun you had.
So I say this: if you buy something, really enjoy it.
Just like the dieters of the world… if you order dessert, SAVOR the dang thing. Do the extra set tomorrow but don’t you dare think about jumping jacks with a creme brulee spoon in your mouth.
It’s a long journey to financial freedom. Make it at least a little bit fun!
*my definition of “can afford” it include: paying cash, using a credit card but one that will get paid off, having the funds, and not borrowing from emergencies. If you’re going into debt with a purchase, then I think you should listen to the guilt-monster.