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Indulging doesn’t mean overspending

   Posted On: April 19, 2023  |    Posted In: Personal Finance 101  |     Posted by: Broke Millennial®

On the eve of my thirty-third birthday, I made a radical decision. I wanted thirty-three to be my year of indulgence. I’m young (even if Gen Z doesn’t think so), healthy, child-free, debt-free, and live in one of the most exciting cities on the planet. If now wasn’t the time, then when? This year of indulgence was not so much in the “Year of Yes” kind of way but more so to just indulge in the activities and experiences I love, like international travel and theater.

Now, don’t get it twisted. Indulgence doesn’t necessarily mean overspending. Peach and I reassessed how aggressive we were with long-term savings and investing goals and reallocated some cash flow to living it up. We’re still living within our means and always hunt for discounts and deals like travel hacking or cheap tickets to shows through TDF.

I’m now in the final couple of months of this year of indulgence and it’s been one of the most mentally healthy years of my life. There are myriad reasons why this is true, but a significant one is that I fully embraced my season of life. Here’s a little snippet about this from my op-ed I wrote for Bloomberg.

“As a deeply practical person who often focuses more on preparing for the future than living in the present, this life shift didn’t come naturally. My brain is hardwired to think like my relative who has put off taking a dream vacation for decades. I fixate on making long-term goals and shoring up financial resources to ensure a stable life for my future self. These aren’t negative attributes, but much of this behavior ultimately led to severe burnout and a case of self-diagnosed depression. And that was before a global pandemic hit.

The concept of taking advantage of life’s phases isn’t entirely about pampering yourself. Rather, it’s about recognizing the moments that could be taken from you within a few years and putting your resources of time and money toward maximizing fleeting opportunities.

You can read the full article on Bloomberg here.

It’s important to recognize that these moments aren’t always just about living your most lavish life. It’s also about recognizing fleeting moments or opportunities. Being able to spend time with aging relatives who are still physically and cognitively able to engage in activities you both love while you both still can. Prioritizing quality time with young children while they still see you, the parents (or aunt/uncle) as the sun and moon and aren’t yet shying away from your cuddles and corny jokes. Or taking that trip you’ve always yearned to do now and not putting it off until retirement.

Our lives are full of seasons, but some of these seasons will never return. Consider this your permission slip to reflect on your season of life and potentially reconfigure parts of your budget to indulge. But hey, I am still your friendly, pragmatic money advocate – so this isn’t a permission slip to pillage the retirement accounts or jeopardize your future either.

 

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