Monday, August 29, 2011
After spending more than a year tenaciously watching my spending, saving more than half my net income and trying to maximize every investment dollar, it's easy to get a little fatigued. I'm only human and after time it does get a little tiring to watch every dollar that comes in and out and constantly plan for an unknown future. I started thinking of ways that I could continue to live frugally but also spice things up a little bit. It's always important to reward yourself for a job well-done.
If you're suffering from frugal fatigue, these are three things that might help:
1. Splurge every once in a while
I haven't splurged once since I started my new frugal living doctrine last summer. I define splurging as spending money freely or extravagantly. How much you spend, and what you spend it on depends a lot on your personal income and where your interests lie. For me, food is one of my biggest pleasures in life. Frugal fatigue starts to set in for me after eating PB&J sandwiches for days on end. Eating great food is pretty high on my list when considering quality of life. I've decided that splurging on food I really love every once in a while can drastically improve my mood and cure any temporary fatigue I may be suffering from. I happen to love sushi. I think sushi might just be on the menu this week! What would you splurge on?
2. Take a cheap vacation
After a hard week of work and extensively budgeting every expense, the weekend can be quite relieving. I typically refresh and re-energize myself during the weekend and try to engage in low-cost activities like writing new blog posts, going to the beach, getting more sleep, watching movies and maybe grabbing a pizza. Of course, these activities can feel a little suffocating if you're repeating them every weekend. Really spice things up by taking a road trip to a new location. Even just checking out a new downtown area an hour or more away from home can feel like a new, exciting experience. You don't have to go to Tahiti to experience something fun and new.
3. Add a budget line for "fun stuff"
Perhaps you really enjoy live sports events. Maybe off-Broadway shows really light your fire. Life can only be lived once, and you certainly have to make the most of it. I have been rapidly trying to disengage myself from a consumerist lifestyle, but at the same time I don't think living like a monk is the answer. I don't currently have a budget line for any "fun stuff", but I don't think it's a bad idea if you can still maintain a high savings rate. Perhaps setting aside $50-$100 per month for a certain hobby or activity that you highly enjoy could make saving fun. If you're saving 75% of your net income, but you're miserable then you definitely have to change things up. Having fun along the way is imperative. Life is a journey, and not a destination.
I hope these three ideas help if you are suffering from frugal fatigue.
What do you do to spice things up?
Thanks for reading.