April 25

Buy A Little Treat

Why Buying Yourself A Treat Is Not A Waste Of Money

Tucked into a little, non-prominent spot on the Thrifty Habits Planner is an unexpected weekly habit – Buy A Little Treat.

Say whaaaat?! I thought we were trying to save money here, not fritter it away!
retro lady fro www.thegraphicsfairy.comWe are, we are, but… Let me tell you something everyone who has ever been on a diet knows: you can only be good for so long. Sooner or later everyone cracks. And what happens when a conscientious dieter cracks and eats one fun-size Milky Way, in defiance of all their good intentions? Uh-huh – they lose the plot and follow their tiny slip-up with an enormous blow-out. After weeks of rigid self-control, one tiny lapse cascades into a non-stop calorie spree.

money mumA bottle of wine and an entire donner kebab later regret sets in… too late. Money diets are no different – if you are in constant denial, you will eventually crack and once you do, your budget is likely to get blown right out of the water. Weight loss programmes frequently build in daily or weekly food treats to help us manage our boom-or-bust tendencies. I firmly believe a thrifty spending regime needs the same. Without the tiny release of little treats we all turn into pay-day millionaires each month – delirious with wealth after weeks of self-control.

treats reassure us that, even though we are cutting back our spending – however drastically – we can still enjoy life

Gretchen Rubin, in her hymn to habits, Better Than Before, argues for the “Strategy Of Treats”: “When we give ourselves treats, we feel energized, cared for, and contented, which boosts our self-command—and self-command helps us maintain healthy habits. (Read on Psychology Today.)  That applies as much to healthy money habits as it does to healthy eating habits. When we are in constant self-denial, thrift becomes drudgery and our motivation plummets. But treats reassure us that, even though we are cutting back our spending – however drastically – we can still enjoy life. And that keeps us going.

NewYearChampagneGraphicsFairyWhat I am saying here is not that we should lose control and blow the budget on treats – I am saying that we should take control and set a budget for treats. Yes, in the short term, we will spend a little more. But in the longer term, we will spend significantly less. And where an unplanned binge-spending session leaves you feeling bad, small, frequent, affordable treats make you happy. Who doesn’t want some of that?





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Posted April 25, 2016 by tartanmum in category "Take Control", "The Habits", "Treat Yourself

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