Deprivation is dangerous for my budget. Some of my biggest splurges have taken place during one of my I-feel-poor moods.
"The feeling of deprivation will undermine any effort to pursue long-term discipline," writes Amy Dacyyzyn aka the Frugal Zealot in one of my favorite essays in The Tightwad Gazette.
I like her three-step cure for deprivation:
1. Celebrate your choice:
lRecognize that you are engaging in the discipline out of choice. You decide to give up something so that you can have something else.
My Example: We drive a thrifty old minivan. Without a monthly car note, we have more money for family vacations.
2. Rank expenses on a dollar-per-value scale. Begin to shed perks that mean the least.
My Comment: I've given up my shoe fetish. I used to be crazy about shoes. But now, I'd rather save the money for a spa date or just save the dollars that I used to spend on my feet.
"When you give up the lower priority things first, hopefully your budget will allow you to keep the extras that genuinely give value to your life."
3. Don't try keep up with the Frugal Joneses or the Big Spenders.
My Comment: I have friends that are black-belt savers and economizers. I have others who live in mansions and have full-time help, plus drivers. But it's very self-defeating when I try to compare my savings account to theirs. Sure, it's okay to have role models, but I can't compare my apples to my neighbor's oranges.
"Wringing your hands over economic inequities merely wastes emotional energy that could be better used in a positive way to achieve your goal."-- Amy Dacyczyn
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