Don’t budget your life

by Erika Torres
9 comments

I’m willing to make sacrifices in order to pay off our debt. I haven’t bought a new item of clothing or a new pair of shoes in several months. My fingernails don’t remember what a manicure is. And the last time we ordered takeout, Justin Beiber was still a virgin.

But there are some instances in which I believe that the line has to be drawn. And that’s when you give up “fun” in order to be “responsible.”

I understand–and completely agree–that credit cards should be paid off. But if I were presented with an incredibly opportunity to travel or experience something I haven’t experienced–then I’m willing to put it on the card, pay interest and eat Ramen for the next few months in order to have a really great experience.

And there is some debt that is just going to be there for a while–like student loans. Once the credit cards are paid off, I don’t plan on forgoing dinners out just so I can make one extra student loan payment. And yes, the next car we buy I plan on paying in full or as close to it as possible to get rid of these pesky–and hefty!– car payments.

We have cut back on our discretionary spending A LOT. But at what point do you say “enough”? At what point do you decide to say yes to fun?

Because of car loans and student loans, and even some credit debt, are we banned from ever going out to a movie or dinner or taking a vacation?

I’m all for being responsible. But I want to have fun too.

*Photo found here

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9 comments

City Girl October 12, 2010 - 8:30 pm

A little fun is in order from time to time. It’s healthy and needed! Tabitha has the manicure covered. I still think a blog registry for you guys might be nice, too. xoxo

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Erin B. Inspired October 12, 2010 - 8:37 am

J and I recently got a pair of tickets to a theme park in Orlando and I’ve got an opportunity coming up at the end of October to earn some extra money. We originally planned on using the money I’ll earn at the end of October as extra money towards our debt, but since we’ve been so stressed out with life in general lately and have free tickets that expire at the end of November, I think we’re going to use the extra money to go a mini-vacay instead. Not exactly the most “responsible” or “adult” thing to do, but it’s going to be just what the doctor ordered. 🙂

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Jen October 7, 2010 - 12:06 pm

Love your blog! I’ve done several posts about money and budgeting lately as we’ve been switching ours around quite a bit….that’s what you get when you put two accountants together in the same house! I think it’s all about finding a balance. If you end up feeling deprived, than on the days you do blow it, statistcally, you’re bound to blow the budget a lot more than if you have a small set amount to spend and you’re not completely cut off. I don’t know if you’ve ever read much of Dave Ramsey but he always encouraged a little cushion so that you’re not always failing to meet the budget, but he does encourage budgeting that cushion ahead of time so you can still meet your goals. If you’re intersted, i posted our budget break-down here:

http://thelifeaccounts.blogspot.com/2010/08/breaking-it-down.html

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Ashley October 5, 2010 - 7:13 am

You summed up exactly how I feel about budgeting vs. experiencing life! It’s such a tough decision to not do something because you don’t have the money when it’s a once in a lifetime type of thing. The problem we get into is making excuses like “just this time, we’ll do it”.

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Shannon October 4, 2010 - 6:55 pm

Am I part of that fab travel you plan to take? I should be:)

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Newlywed and Decorating October 4, 2010 - 5:17 pm

I hear you! It’s a tricky balance. My husband and I have opposite money personailities so we help balance each other out with frugal and fun! A little bit of both is good 🙂

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L.A. Daze October 4, 2010 - 4:44 pm

As long as you’re being responsible and don’t dig yourself into a deeper hole, then it should be fine! I hate taking away fun from anything – we only live once!

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prettylittlereckless October 4, 2010 - 3:47 pm

Personally, I can’t just cut off fun spending completely, but I think it can be done responsibly. So I think a night out once a month sounds reasonable- not going crazy, but something to get out and do something.

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Tabitha October 4, 2010 - 3:28 pm

Amen sister. I vote you budget for a little weekend (or even day) trip to Santa Barbara, and the manicure will be on me. 🙂

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