Finding Happiness Right Now

Isn’t it funny how most financial advice tells us to save, save, save and rarely mentions spending any of our money. If I can pile away all of my dollars right now I can retire happily at 65.

What about living right now? How do you balance the need for future savings with the desire to enjoy your life today?

I’ve struggled with this over the years. I’ve kicked myself for shopping without coupons, forgetting my reusable bags (both from a cost saving and an environmental perspective), buying things on the spur of the moment and generally not taking the time to shop around because I’m too busy with life.

Most of the time I’m a super saver, but sometimes I wonder if my present enjoyment/future goals balance isn’t slightly off kilter. I think I focus too much on long term goals, sometimes risking the simple pleasures of things today.

As I wrote and reflected on my last post, (about the joy of eating out with coworkers), I began to wonder how many times I should have loosened my purse strings over the past decade. I just celebrated the eight year anniversary of my second chance and I know that tomorrow doesn’t come for everyone. It’s important to live while we are healthy enough to do so.

Don’t get me wrong I have a lot of joy in my life, but sometimes I focus too much on money. How much have we saved? How much is remaining on our mortgage and how long until we are financially independent? I’d like to stop this mindset. I’d like to stop thinking of myself strictly as One Frugal Girl.

I’m not a fan of budgeting, but I know a lot of folks who carve out space for fun money. I’m not sure if this is for me. I think I would have a hard time convincing myself to set aside money that I can blow on anything I want. It’s just ingrained in me not to spend it if I don’t have a true need.

Also, I noticed that I am falling into the same pattern as my own mom. She always spent money on my brother and I, but rarely bought anything for herself. When I find myself out and about I head right to the children’s section, barely casting a glance at items for myself.

I don’t want to fill my closets with clothes, but I would like to feel more comfortable paying for unexpected items that bring me true joy. I would like to open myself to the possibilities of shared experiences and not fret about how much money those experiences cost me.

I’d love to hear from anyone who shares the same feelings. Do you set a certain amount of money aside to spend any way you want? Do you plan an event every day, week or month so you can enjoy your money? Or do you just wing it and spend as the occasions arise deciding that if you save most of the time you can certainly splurge every once in awhile?

4 thoughts on “Finding Happiness Right Now”

  1. Oh, my gosh. I’m so on the same page. Every time I buy something I get a twang of buyers remorse. It’s awful. I don’t let myself enjoy anything. Because there’s bigger things I should be taking care of. I used to budget hardcore and always had at least some entertainment money in there. It did help. But our income isn’t quite as predictable these days (some months more, some less) so a traditional budget doesn’t allow me to do this anymore. But it did help.

  2. Love this post. I’m always thinking about money. Even when I’m on vacation and everything is budgeted for, I will feel bad about spending money and then the vacation is no longer enjoyable.


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