We all have those lies, large and small, we tell ourselves to justify why we do the things that we do. The reality is, however, that every single decision we make is either helping us or hurting us. There really isn’t much grey area there. Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not now, really doesn’t matter. Our long-term financial standing will inevitably show us what we found important during our short-term decision making.
Take a look at the list and see if you can relate to any of the “lies” below.
1. I deserve it.
Do you work hard? … Of course you do. Do you deserve to indulge every once in awhile? … Eh, maybe. The question is, however, whether a new dress is really worth you staying in debt? Sometimes you may need to ask yourself, “As much as I deserve _________, don’t I deserve to be debt free even more?” If you answer, “No. I deserve to work my entire adult life and still end up with nothing at the age of retirement,” then continue on. Buy all the dresses you want! Remember, it’s not the one “I deserve it” conversation that does it either; It’s the constant conversation you begin to justify on an ongoing basis that hurts you.
2. But, this is an emergency. . . isn’t it?
So, let’s be clear about what emergencies are. Merriam-Webster defines the term emergency as “A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.” With that being said, dipping into your emergency (or, opportunity) fund for items that you were fully aware were coming up is not an emergency. It’s important to make every expense a line item on your budget, even those things that are quarterly or annual expenditures such as car registration or dues.