You deserve it, can you afford it?
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By Bromwich+Smith | Date: 2021.09.28| Reading time: 3 minutes, 30sec | 702 words
After a year and a half of living through pandemic restrictions, changes and other measures, we’re all eager to spend money again. Entertainment, travel and transportation are among the top things Canadians are indulging in, and after all we have been through, we all deserve to indulge and spend some pent-up money. Right?
Not exactly. First off, saying we deserve something, or buying something based on what we deserve is a bad barometer for making a purchase decision. After all, what does “deserve” really mean? In general, don’t we all deserve a good life and good things within it? Spending is highly personal, as are the things we think are deserving or not. Remember that one person’s daily $5 latte is another person’s monthly indulgence. Who’s to say who deserves it more, better yet, who can afford it more? It’s not possible to subjectively answer the first question, and the second one is just as tricky, as it depends on your budget and your financial goals.
Yes, you absolutely deserve things. But how do you know if you can actually afford these things, whether it’s a spa day or vacation? It’s not enough to make sure the money is in your bank account, if doing something has the potential to derail your financial goals. So while asking if you can afford something is a great question, but asking if it’s in line with your financial goals and fits in your budget is an even better question.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you make that big purchase to treat yourself.
Do you have a savings account and/or emergency fund? Saving for retirement is a non-negotiable before you move on to non essential and luxury wants. If you’re not saving yet, start to move some money regularly to both a savings account and emergency fund. Then you can move on to the next question.
Have you budgeted for it? If it’s not in your budget, it shouldn’t happen. That’s because every dollar you make and spend should be accounted for, and if it’s not planned for, you technically shouldn’t have the money to spend on it, period. Having a budget is having a plan for your money, and that is freedom. Start by tracking your income, then your expenses, and you will see where you’re at. The leftover money should be split between savings, emergency funds, paying off debt if necessary, and then you can build line items of specific things to save up for. Try our easy to use budget planner here.
Do you carry credit card debt? If you’re not fully paying down your credit card balance every month, you could be paying a substantial amount of money on interest while only making a small dent (or no dent at all) on paying down your balances. This would be a good time to talk to one of our Debt Relief Specialists if you have debts that you need help settling, so you can start with a clean slate.
So you passed, now what? As long as you’re buying it in cash (or you put it on your credit card but are able to pay it off right after), and it doesn’t compromise your ability to handle your regular bills, savings, debt repayment and other commitments, go for it. It can be easy to feel guilty about adding a few luxuries into your budget, but YOU get to decide what you want to prioritize spending your money on, and if you can afford it, you absolutely can go for it.
So next time thoughts that you deserve something bubble up, remind yourself that the better question to ask is if you can afford it, and if it fits into your financial picture.
It’s important to note that even the best of intentions and budgeting can’t stop certain situations from happening. There are simply things in life that we can’t budget for. If you are facing overwhelming debt, remember that you are not alone. Bromwich+Smith has a number of debt relief strategies to help you regain control of your finances and get your life back. Reach out today for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation. Now offering video appointments with clients, Bromwich+Smith’s Debt Relief Specialists are available for initial free, no obligation, confidential consultation by phone at 1.855.884.9243, or request a call back at contact us page.
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