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Little indulgences are often a part of life, even when you’re working your way out of debt. While you’re learning how to stay on track financially, it’s also important to give yourself the freedom to enjoy an occasional treat, whether it’s a new pair of shoes, a nice dinner out, or a day trip for the family.
It’s when life’s “little” luxuries become the norm rather than the exception – or when those luxuries come with a hefty price tag – that spending can get out of control. So, how do you learn to enjoy some special treats from time to time without breaking the bank? Start by creating a budget and sticking to it.
The Importance of Budgeting
As you’ll learn when researching debt relief, creating a budget – and really following that budget – is one of the first, most important steps in solving the debt puzzle.
When developing your budget, it may be easiest to start with your needs – food, mortgage or rent, car payments, insurance, utilities and other monthly bills. Once you determine how much money, if any, is left at the end of each month or paycheck, you can then give yourself some spending cash to enjoy a few “wants.”
Remember to allocate a certain amount to paying off debt and saving every month. While it’s best to start saving even while you’re paying off debt, make getting those bills paid off your primary goal. That means devoting a larger portion of your budget to paying off debt for now, and ramping up your monthly savings goals once you are debt free. That also may mean sacrificing some luxuries now in favor of getting out of debt more quickly. And as you reduce your debt, you can go ahead and enjoy a few more treats here and there.
Defining What Matters to You
What’s a luxury to you? Is it something that’s never within reach because of the cost? If so, it may be time to redefine what a luxury or indulgence means to you.
While some people don’t consider it a luxury unless it’s the best of the best – a four-star hotel, the newest technological gadget, or high-end designer sunglasses – it’s important to put things into perspective.
Little luxuries don’t have to cost a lot; there are a lot of ways to make them happen on the cheap. Consider the following:
Regardless of how and when you decide to enjoy a little indulgence, remember that needs and wants both have a role in your life. Pre-planning can go a long way in maintaining a healthy financial lifestyle. Allow yourself to spend once in a while, as long as you’ve saved for it. Check out CareOne’s online budget planner and financial calculators for more help creating and sticking to your monthly budget. Or check out our other helpful online services today.
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