By Teneshia “Miss Money Sense” LaFaye
I was looking at my new beige and taupe designer shoes today to try to figure out how they are worth $160. I mean they are only protecting my feet. That money could have been used to buy groceries for two weeks, to pay the charges for my two cell phones or to pay my satellite bill.
Actually, I got the shoes on sale for half off and also spent a couple hundred on a purse for my girlfriend. I don’t usually spend money on pricey items, but these latest purchases were considered treats.
You should treat yourself every now and then because you shouldn’t work just to pay bills. If all you do is work to pay bills, how are you any different than a sharecropper who worked as hard as a slave, but stayed indebted to a landowner?
So you shouldn’t just work and pay bills. You should also take time and money to enjoy the spoils of life, but without spoiling yourself and your loved ones too much. Too much is when you regularly spend money on unnecessary items and activities, such as buying expensive shoes and electronics and eating out at nice restaurants, to the point that they become regular expenses and then morph into bad spending habits that keep you from achieving your savings and retirement goals.
What can began as a delightful treat that makes you happy can turn into a penance you become obligated to pay because of your lack of self-control. However, you should certainly treat yourself to nice things as part of a balanced approach to your finances that I detail in my second book, Mom’s Money Lessons. My recommendation is that you should give yourself a 10% allowance each pay period to treat yourself, and if you’re fortunate enough to receive a tax refund check, you should treat yourself with half of it and save/invest the other half.
Teneshia LaFaye is a former award-winning newspaper journalist and a nationally certified financial education instructor. She owns a health insurance agency and has written two books, What My Mom Taught Me About Money and Mom’s Money Lessons, available on her web site www.mytensense.com. Get her FREE daily money tips to work on improving your financial mindset by “liking” her MissMoneySense page on Facebook.