An older friend came out for drinks with us the other night. He was being very generous, he kept on ordering rounds, and would refuse to let anyone else order the drinks or pay for them. I finally got fed up with this because I don’t like it when someone spends money on me. He explained to me that he worked hard his whole life so that he can be in a position where he earns lots of money and can afford the simple pleasures in life (covering drinks for everyone).
Mike reviewed his 2011 financial goals the other day. He mentioned that he wasn’t stressed out about his credit card debt because he knew he would get a nice bonus at the end of the year.
What I’m getting at is that when you work hard and earn a good chunk of change it’s really easy and rewarding to increase your lifestyle and enjoy yourself. When you’re successful and making lots of money, it’s feasible to spend money.
I wanted to play Devil’s Advocate today and look at the other side here. My question to you guys today is could you decrease your spending/lifestyle if you were to lose your job or if you were forced to?
This is a tough one to answer. I know personally that it would be challenging for me to cut out certain things from my lifestyle if I needed to right now. It’s simply to theorize about cutting down on certain expenses. The reality is that most cutbacks would have a negative impact on my lifestyle that would be difficult to accept. Let’s go over the factors involved in decreasing your lifestyle spending:
Could you be frugal if something were to happen and you really had to save money? When you’re making good money or have few responsibilities you don’t exactly have to be frugal and tight with your finances. What if you had to be frugal? Would you be ready?
I would consider myself to be frugal in some areas of life. I don’t like to pay for things if I don’t see any value. I don’t like to feel like I’m being ripped off either. On the other hand, when I see value in something (a trip for example), I don’t mind spending the big bucks.
I really enjoy my luxuries. I enjoy my fancy smart phone. I enjoy my trips. I enjoy my MMA gym membership. What if you had to decrease your lifestyle spending by cutting back on the luxuries? Which luxuries could you cut? Which ones would you really miss?
I think that I would really miss my smart phone and driving every where. I’ve taken the bus around town for many years. I’ve spent many cold winter mornings freezing at the corner waiting for the bus hoping that it comes before I freeze to the ground. Now I enjoy being able to drive wherever and whenever I want.
Do frugality zealots just not earn enough money? I find that the harder I work to make more money, the more rewarding it feels to spend some of this money. What would be the point of always working if you can’t have a decent lifestyle? Working hard for your money would definitely make lifestyle deflation tough.
Sam of Financial Samurai once wrote that there’s no point to making money if you don’t spend it. I agreed with the article because life really is finite. Once you take care of your expenses and main savings, it’s okay to splurge money on yourself. This is why I might not be so good at decreasing my lifestyle spending.
Time to ask the readers: What do you think? Would you be able to decrease your lifestyle spending? or would you find other ways to make more money?
(photo credit: rawartistsmedia)
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