Not too long ago, I was thinking hard about whether or not I wanted to do the cruise this summer.
It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I got to thinking about what else I could do with the money.
It was then that I started a list… “things I want but can never justify getting”
As expected, it was a decent sized list. But something unexpected became really quickly obvious….
Not a single thing on the list at that time was over $100. Most were under 25.
How pathetic is that? That these things that I want, many I’ve wanted for a while, are so cheap, and yet, I can never justify paying that much for myself. Even moreso when I realize how quickly I would probably get an item costing the same for my daughter if she wanted it then just come up with a way for her to earn it from me. Yes as a single parent budgets are sometimes tight…. but really?
So I sat on this list for a few months. I’m still planning on doing the cruise, that is, if I can find my lost bank card in time to get my last payment in by the deadline closing in. I’ve added a few more things to the list… but still, only 2 are over the 100 mark (lasik and portable hot tub are a bit further off dreams).
But this week, a decision came to me. I’m going to buy the items. Not all at once, but gradually.
But then came a second thought.
We were at a local park where someone was having a birthday party, and I mentioned to my daughter how when I was little we had mine there once or twice when the weather was still warm in October. This got me thinking about the last few years where really nothing gets done for adult birthdays in my family, and usually they just get cash if they get anything.
Connecting the two…. I’ve decided that this list is now my birthday list. But a bit differently, it’s going to be my personal list. As in, my gift to myself. With the exception of the two big ticket items, I can literally buy my entire list for less than I spent on my daughter’s gifts for her. Enough of the “cant afford” on things that I really could if I wanted to. It’s a significant numbered birthday this year anyway, so I’m going for it.
I suppose this probably sounds really odd to anyone else… but to me, right now, this makes perfect sense. And in a way it sort of flies against everything I’ve done towards sorting wants from needs on expenses.
But at what point do you stop and give yourself the freedom to get something just because you want it? Not because it benefits anyone but you, but just because it would make you smile?
I guess its sort of a quality of life vs numbers in the checkbook thing.
Even just knowing that my new yellow lab webkinz will be waiting for me in the closet till October comes is enough sometimes. Cost? $12. Benefit to me? How much is my enjoyment really worth to me?
Maybe not enough sometimes.