When it comes to money, there is one important thing to keep in mind. It isn’t real. It was once, when people carried around little bags of gold coins, but now most financial transactions happen electronically without any cash ever changing hands. Your personal fortune, or lack thereof, is really no more than an electronic record of numbers stored in some distant databank, and depending on the prevailing winds, depression and recessions can make fortunes simply evaporate overnight. Nothing is certain except for the guarantee of uncertainty when it comes to the global house of cards we call the economy.
To be sure, debt is a drag, good credit matters, and many of life’s pleasures do require money. However, these basic truths need not keep anyone from living the good life. This is not to suggest in any way that reckless spending is the path to happiness, but neither is penny pinching. Having a little nest egg never hurt anyone, but when excessive frugality begins to infringe on your daily enjoyment of life, then it’s time for a little shopping spree.
The receiving of gifts is almost always a pleasurable experience but rewarding oneself is even better! If you’re going to save money, that’s great, but don’t forget to set some aside for a little indulgence. As the old saying goes, you can’t take it with you, and if you’re “selflessly” stashing it all away to leave to the kids, you may well be drifting toward the dreary abyss of martyrdom.
We realize, of course, that extra cash is not always easy to come by, but if your current circumstances require budgeting, just be sure to add a line item for a little splurge. It might be as grand as a tropical holiday, or it might just be an oversized chocolate bar. Regardless of the scale, you owe it to yourself. The world can be a very disappointing place, and others may let you down, but the one person you can always count on to deliver that little burst of joy is you. So, spend that cash and don’t feel guilty. After all, it is your duty as a good citizen to help maintain the economy. All else is pure selfishness.
(From the writings of Michael Flocker)