Its been a few days since my last post and I’m not going to sit here and make excuses. Some things came up that took priority. Could I have still found the time, sure, but its also important to remember that work isn’t always the most important thing. With the record heat wave parts of the city even losing power few a few hours this past weekend I took some time away and went down to the shore to visit some friends and family I hadn’t seen in awhile.
Last week I introduced Financial Wellness Wednesday and made the argument that splurging from time to time is important to your mental wellness just like saving is important to your financial wellness. With that in mind there are often many ways to find savings when you have those splurges.
This weekend I was supposed to participate in a tough mudder with friends and due to the heat it ended up getting cancelled. My first thought was to take the refunded money I had already paid and put it directly into savings and take one more step towards my savings goal for this year. Upon second thought however, I realized this might be the perfect opportunity to “reinvest” the money in an opportunity to spend time with friends. After thinking through the timing, mental effect, and if it was realistic, I decided that using this money to spend time with friends from out of town was the perfect way to use my refund money. Here’s why:
My office had been short staffed the past week and would be for the following week as well. It’s currently the heart of busy season for my company and these work days have caused me to have the highest stress levels I have had all year. Taking the time to recharge would not only help me mentally, but I was getting to a point where focusing on work and saving couldn’t keep competing with each other. One of them was going to snap (Hint, savings doesn’t sign my paycheck). There was a very real possibility I just said screw it and splurged the money anyways on something I would regret later.
Psychologically I had already filed that payment for the race away as a sunk cost. I never expected to get it back anyways, so spending it on something else didn’t even feel like I was spending money out of my budget. This is also why I like to take a small portion of my bonuses or my extra paychecks from months where I am paid three times to treat myself to something I wouldn’t normally do or experience. As long as I am practicing self discipline and have been fairly obedient when it comes to following my budget I see no reason why I shouldn’t take a portion of unexpected income to treat myself to a little break from saving money.
Is it Realistic
The final factor I considered was whether or not using this money for a weekend at the beach was realistic. My refund was only $100 or so and I wasn’t going to fall prey to letting a new found hundred dollars turn into $300 in unplanned expenses. It just so happened that my friend who was supposed to join me has a shore house and was also going to be there. A quick phone call later, and I rent free bed for the weekend was as good as mine. This meant that I only had to pay for gas, food, few drinks, and a thank you gift for my friend. All in all I ended up spending $120 for the entire weekend which in all honesty is probably less than I would have spent by staying in the city and running the event / celebrating afterwords had the race remained scheduled.
All in all this weekend was a great break from my budget. Getting out of the city also means cheaper everything so by using unexpected income to do something I don’t normally budget for I was able to focus on my mental wellness as well as keep my financial wellness on track.