Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Daily Routine, versus Splurges

Post on The Simple Dollar - Splurges, Habits and Projection

Which scenario sounds more appealing?
About two mornings a month, I take my laptop to a local coffee shop that I adore, pick up a tasty morning treat and a cup of coffee, and sit here in this pleasant environment writing for a few hours.

I make a daily stop at a coffee shop for breakfast. I sit in there each and every morning, drop $7 on a breakfast sandwich, a cup of coffee, and a paper, and read it without much real joy.
A splurge is healthy every once in a while. It’s an irregular expense - not one that you spend money on every day or even every week. It also fills you with joy when you do it - and you still feel happy about it a day later. In short, you derive quality of life from that purchase.

A habit is never healthy. When an experience (particularly one tied to spending) becomes routine and normal, it should either fulfill a basic need in a simple way or it should be reconsidered. If it doesn’t add genuine value to your life - or if there’s a cheaper option that could add the same value - then you shouldn’t be spending your hard-earned money on it.

Take some time and really look at the things you spend money on regularly. Are these things really bringing you happiness - or are they tired routines centered around something you can’t really recapture? You might be shocked to realize how many of your spending choices are really dictated not by your true wants and needs, but by the wants and needs you’ve projected onto those purchases.

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