There's a shopping website called WANELO (Wants, Needs, Loves) and it can definitely apply to our money habits as well.
Throughout my finance education I've been taught to counsel others based on their needs vs. wants; which is GREAT advice!
However, who wants to spend their money on Needs all the time? I don't. In fact, when I go shopping for Needs I'm left so unsatisfied that I end up buying a few wants just to make myself feel better. Nothing too expensive, just a lil somethin' that's within budget.
I recently took The Budgetnista's LiveRicher Challenge and she mentioned before making a spending decision ask yourself Do I Want It? Need It? Like It? or Love It? The Money Coach and Suze Orman mention something similar.
I happen to have very few Loves; I mean things that I LIVE for, but a major one is traveling (excluding intangibles like family career faith, etc)
What happened when I couldn't afford to travel like I wanted? I started to spend on Likes and Wants to compensate for that. Do you do that?
Put a line in the budget for your Loves. The moment I began to sacrifice my Wants and Likes – still taking care of my Needs – so that I could save for my Loves, I became a happier Me and budgeting and spending cuts became soooooo much easier. Why? Because I knew that the only way to travel more was to make more money, cut some unnecessary Want/Likes expenses and save. And that's exactly what I do.
I have a Vacation Account through Ally.com and I do nothing more than save for vacations. Now, some advisers will tell you those funds could be spent on paying down debt; which is true; I certainly would not do this if I couldn't even meet my current bills; but honey if I can get a good groupon/living social/travelzoo deal somewhere please believe I'm taking advantage of it. Why?
Because when I come back I'm recharged and ready to tackle this debt even more so so that I can go on another trip! Plus, I'm not creating new debt because I'm using Cash and not my credit cards.
I do this twice a year
So, budget your LOVES as well as your Needs.
What are you LOVES? To help you; The Budgetnista says:
“If you had Oprah's bank account what would you do more of (only pick your top 1-2!)?”