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Why treating yourself every month is as important as saving every month

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Why treating yourself every month is as important as saving every month

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Just buy that book; what will you do saving this much?

Oops, you’ve spent too much time to start walking everywhere and no expensive food till the month ends. 

What you’re reading isn’t just an example of terrible financial planning but also an anecdote of the way my silly little brain can work. But, over the last few months, I’ve tried to create a balance for myself. And no, this time around, I’m focused on just saving and treating myself too. 

As someone who’s tried their hand at being frugal, let me tell you one thing, frugality doesn’t come cheap. It’s great to know hacks and DIYs and save that little extra money, but excessive frugality quickly robs you of any happiness and motivation you might have. 

It sounds weird, though, right? It’s always good when we make and stick to budgets, and then it must be even better when we save a portion of our budget, right? And because we can’t not pay bills, rent, or eat, we do the next best thing - go cheap on ourselves. 

We think that a bit of sacrifice on that end will fetch us little extra savings. But what it does really is drain you of reasons to keep going.

Let’s face it, we might love our jobs, but no one likes working all the time. When you work till you’re exhausted and make money, only to keep it stored in your savings account, you never get to witness what this money could have done. Who are you doing it all for then? 

The Scarcity Mindset is one where you keep focusing on what you don’t have, what can go wrong, and how it can go wrong. It’s proven to make your financial and mental health terrible, here’s how 

1. Fear controls everything

From that extra bit you spent on travel one day to investments you should be making but aren’t, fear controls everything. You’re afraid of running out of money, so you simply avoid spending. Except, this reduces the value of your savings quite soon, setting you back financially. 

2. The concept of rest and relaxation doesn’t exist 

You might not agree to this, but not all your free time is supposed to be spent side hustling, monetising a hobby, or learning a new skill. Your free time can just be you scrolling away if that makes you feel good. Scarcity will have you believing that you need to keep making money always. It’s not true. 

3. Blurry decision making 

You’re bound to jump on the cheaper thing than look into the quality. Sometimes, things are more expensive because they last longer than something cheap that goes bad in a month or so. Scarcity will have you thinking you never have enough and need to compensate by buying cheaper. This secretly is a long-term financial loss.

Treat yourself right

If you’ve been withholding that treat to yourself or are looped in the scarcity mindset and are wondering why (and how) could you treat yourself, let’s go! 

1. Budget your treats

I know how it feels to drink some wine, eat a pizza and watch Netflix till you’re ready to sleep. Unfortunately, you can’t do this on a daily. Find a way to fit the treats that need a more significant amount in your budget. Look into your ‘wants’ and see what you can shift and re-prioritise, but also consider increasing your budget by just a bit. Try out the 50/20/30 rule if it seems fit for you.  Remember, treating yourself is essential. It’s not a whim or want. That brings me to my next point -

2. Treat yourself every day

I don’t mean you need to order sushi and down a bottle of wine everyday. Find a way to give yourself a treat every day. For me, this is my evening cup of ginger chai and a walk on the terrace. It energises me and calms me down. 

Figure out those little things that are relaxing and fun for you. Treating yourself daily is a matter of giving yourself time, so don’t decide on a high budget on this one. 

3. Schedule treating yourself 

I know looking at yet another calendar and scheduling yet another time for a thing is probably a bit much to ask for. But try to schedule your “treating yourself” hours. This way, it isn’t random, and you have something to look forward to which keeps you going. 

I like to give myself two major treats a month. Both of these come from my monthly treat budget. I don’t always decide what my treat will be, but if there’s something I’m craving or want and it fits my treat budget, I schedule that as well. Delaying gratification for just a bit goes a long way here. 

Bottom line

It’s crucial that you don’t feel guilty about treating yourself. No, you aren’t wasting away your money, you’re only giving yourself what you deserve. Often, we feel like we need to do more to actually earn a reward, but that’s a lie. There doesn’t need to be a reason behind giving yourself a reward or appreciation. 

So the next time around you’re feeling low or just need a pick-me-up, try getting that thing you’ve been stopping yourself from for months now. Of course, only if it fits your budget :)

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