This post is part of a 13 money resolutions for 2013 series. You can check the first post for an updated list of the following ones.
Here we are. Nearly three weeks and twelve money resolutions later, looking at the last one of the series.
If you have worked hard, it is time to relax and remember that money isn’t meant to be hoarded, but enjoyed. There are several ways that money can bring you enjoyment.
Enjoy your comfort
I used to be a broke student. I had a yearly $5K scholarship that was supposed to cover tuition (thankfully free with the scholarship), housing, food and all other expenses. Life was lean. Now that I can enjoy having a bit more money, I still try to stay frugal, but do not skimp on comfort. As soon as we moved in the new house, we got nice bed sheets, because sleeping well is important. We got a blender and a deep freezer to cook tasty meals and make smoothies. Those things were not needed at first, and we should have spent it on house renovations instead. But having enough means you can treat yourself to finer things.
The same goes for clothes. I keep my wardrobe minimal, but enjoy nice, classic items, that will flatter my body shape. I prefer to pay a bit more in order to be fully happy with the item, ensuring I will wear it a lot. It will last longer and have a low cost per use. Probably lower than a trendy t-shirt I would wear for one season.
I still don’t own a car because BF has one that we share, if he didn’t I would have bought one since our location is really remote. After years of public transportation, cycling and walking, it is nice to have your own car. Then again it makes sense for certain people and not other.
All those things I am able to enjoy, I do not need to charge a card for. I can buy a car with cash. Money gave me that freedom, and the freedom to upgrade many little details that make my life easier and more comfortable.
Stop worrying about money and have fun. You can relax a bit on the frugal hacks and go for the paying options that will save you time and comfort. Take a taxi instead of walking home for two hours when the bus service has stopped. Get the laptop model you want instead of the cheapest one on the market. Money is meant to be enjoyed.
Enjoy your time
Having more money means that you can afford to buy time. You can choose to work four days a week instead of five, to work on a personal project or take care of your kids. You can hire a sitter when you want to have a romantic date with your spouse. You can get help to clean your house, change your oil or mow your lawn.
Usually, one only has time, or money. If you are unemployed, or still in college, you probably have a lot of time in your hands, and a small budget. If you have a job and other committment, you may have less time and more money. Your salary is basically a payment for the sacrifice of your time.
With little changes in your finances, you could have both. Eliminating the waste, reducing your bills, paying off your debt will get you to a point where you have quite a bit of money leftover. That is when you can start enjoying the time and freedom money provides.
You can also buy experiences to share with friends or family. Being able to take your kids to an amusement park or on a ski vacation will be an unforgettable memory. And not just because you will keep paying the bill for 24 months. It will be paid for by the time you get back home.
This is a step many frugal people have a hard time taking. What? $1,500 for a holiday? $200 to take the whole family for dinner? Sure, you can make a potluck dinner at home, but once in a while you deserve a treat.
I know I don’t particularly enjoy an all inclusive holiday, as I think everything is overpriced, especially the excursions, and get bored by the pool. I know lots of families do since it is very relaxing and the kids are being taken care of. If this is your kind of dream holiday, by all means, take it! Whatever your treat, consider going for it. My treat is travel too. It is being able to pay for flights back to Europe whenever I feel like it. From Morocco, I used to go back to France eight to ten times per year. From Guatemala it should be two, or maybe three times. The point is I can afford it, and I deserve to treat myself to those experiences.
I have almost never regretted spending on an experience. Even if the food was bad at an expensive restaurant, we had a fun night out. Drinks with friends? A precious time to reconnect. Taking my little brother to a day out? Priceless.
I enjoy having money in the bank. A few thousands, I don’t need millions. But I enjoy being able to sleep soundly knowing that my bills will be paid and there will be food on the table.
Remember to enjoy that feeling. You may only be starting your journey out of debt, but if you have followed those steps, chances are you are doing better already, and spending less than you earn. Enjoy the new found breathing room now that the weight is lifted off your shoulders. As the money cushion under you increases, so does your freedom and opportunity to live an awesome life.
What else do you enjoy about money?