Today’s mantra: “Treat yourself” culture stymies our financial goals with continual hits of capitalism that prevent us from achieving lasting joy in our lives.
Today’s action: Squelch the treat yourself urge by reminding yourself of what you really want out of life (hint: it’s probably not a latte).
This is definitely something I struggle with. I turned 30 last year and I’m still kind of amazed that I’m an adult, so I think I should reward myself when I do responsible adult things. That’s normal, right?
I spend all day working hard at my job, so I think I should be rewarded when I get home. I’m not much of a shopper of the stereotypical girl things- clothes, shoes, jewelry. Nor do I want to leave my house again after getting home, but as we’ve established I like food and books and Amazon is just a click away.
I like Liz’s logic that if you love the life you have then you don’t need to “treat yourself”, every day is a treat. Now, not everything in my life is perfect, but who’s is? I find the fact that I’m working toward my long-term goals makes me happier and feel excited about the future. There are so many things I’ve been wanting to go do that I keep putting off, so this year my word is, “now”.
There’s never going to be a perfect time to do the things I want to accomplish and time will continue to pass, so I might as well start now and stop putting things off. This is the year I’m getting my blog off the ground, this is the year I’m fixing my backyard and starting a garden, this is the year I’m going to declutter and frugally update my house. This is the year I’m working to create the life I want. What better treat can I have than that?
When I first found the world of financial independence it was through Mr. Money Mustache. He is all about being a badass money saver. He laid out all the math about how soon you would be financially independent based on your savings rate, and it was hard not to get excited about it! But when I saw how far away it was for me, it was kind of disheartening. I was ready to be done with this working thing right now!
So, though I knew about financial independence, I strived to be frugal and pay off debts, but it wasn’t a huge focus. I’d come back to it every so often but would get disheartened each time. This whole time I’d also had it in the back of my mind that I needed to find a way to work from home. I looked into and dabbled in bioinformatics, programming, being a virtual assistant and ultimately decided blogging was the best fit.
I had the realization that working from home would give me all the benefits I was seeking from financial independence- a leisurely life at home with my family and time to pursue my hobbies. Though financial independence is still the ultimate goal, there’s no reason I need to put off the life I want. I find that I don’t mind the idea of working, as long as it’s not hindering the pursuit of my long-term goals. It’s a perfect compromise!
The key then for me is to keep this goal in my mind when I’m tempted to treat myself. I try to ask myself- will this bring me closer to my goals? It’s not a perfect system, and I’m still working on giving up what I want now so I can move closer to my future goals, but I’m making progress. The continual improvement and daydreaming of my long-term goals are what keeps me motivated.
Do you struggle with the “treat yourself” mentality? What do you do to counteract it?