Spending vices. I’ve got ‘em. You’ve got ‘em. We’ve all got ‘em. Some of us are fashionistas, some of us are techie geeks, some of us are giftaholics, and, like me, some of us are foodies. Rather than get on a soapbox about saving, I thought I’d preach the gospel of moderation in your budget.
I don’t believe in balance. It doesn’t exist.
I don’t believe in cold turkey. I’d only turn around and binge.
I don’t believe in over-indulgence. I can’t handle the guilt.
But moderation? Moderation is something I can do. I wholeheartedly believe that moderation is what we’re all striving for and often mislabel as balance. I hate the word ‘balance’. HATE IT. It is too delicate, too fleeting, too….too damn hard to accomplish, that’s what! But moderation? I can do that. And so can you.
La Chica’s Definition of Money Moderation: 90% sensible, 10% indulgent
Building a Budget with Moderation in Mind
Think about it. Money and moderation. It just sounds right and it feels good too! If you’re anything like me, joy and excitement is at the core of life! In Spanish we call it living con gusto, in French, it’s joie de vivre. No matter how you slice it, life should be lived with passion!
The true question is how do you account for vices in your budget? Easy. Make room for your vices. If you like clothing, set aside a clothing budget. If you love a mani/pedi, account for it in your budget. If you love to grab a latte, make it fit. But make it fit with moderation. You might not be able to have a latte every single day, but maybe, just maybe, you can have a latte on Fridays. Maybe, just maybe, you can escape for a mani/pedi once a month. Get the idea? Plan your fun so that you can have you cake and eat it. No guilt. No fuss.
Save Money on Your Vices
Saving Money on Restaurants:
- 3 Words: Kids Eat Free
- Split an entree and split an appetizer OR dessert
- Dine out for lunch instead of dinner
- Search for coupons and groupons
- Military Discounts!
Saving Money on Hair, Nails, and Other Wonderful Self-Indulgences
- Opt for low maintenance do’s and skip or minimize color, highlights, low lights, extensions, perms…
- Ditch the wash and stick to the cut/style
- Stay away from acrylic and gel nails…fill-ins every three weeks can get expensive quickly!
- Use your own nail polish for pedicures so you can get extra mileage by fixing nail boo-boos
- Check out local massage therapy and cosmetology schools for discounted services!
Saving Money on Clothing & Shoes
- Shop in your closet. Chances are you’ve got a several pieces you forgot about!
- Got a fashionista friend? Invite them over to help you combine your existing wardrobe into new looks!
- Swap and share with like-style friends
- Check high end consignment stores like Plato’s Closet
- Check value stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross’s Dress for Less, and Marshall’s
Saving Money on Cars
- Don’t buy new! New cars depreciate in value by 20% or more as soon as you roll them off the lot
- Maintain your car to get maximum performance and life expectancy from your vehicle. Rotate your tires, get oil changes, and tune up as needed.
- Think twice before you buy a luxury vehicle…cars are not an investment. There’s a big difference between the car you need and the car you want.
- Don’t put high octane fuel in your car unless it calls for it. Yeah, your Ford Focus Sport doesn’t require 93 octane. Most cars call for 87.
Moderation Is The Key
As a budget-ista (yeah, I went there), you can apply the theory of money moderation to much, much more: vacations, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, baby prepping, college planning, hobbies, extra-curricular activities for kiddos…the possibilities are endless!
How do you fit your money vices into your budget? What tricks and tips do you have to keep moderation at the core of your budget? Share your thoughts below!
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