Oftentimes when I'm speaking to audiences about controlling their spending, I'm thinking that they're thinking, "Does he really expect me to give up all my luxuries? Does he expect me to forget about having fun? Does he think I'll never buy another latte?"
I shall now give some advise in the spirit of my grandfather. He was a world-renowned surgeon in the days when doctors didn't make money, they made house calls. He was a philanthropist and gave to various charities. His favorite charity, to which he gave throughout the year, was an orphanage. At Christmas time, when he sent his check, he stated that this was NOT for shoes or necessities; it was for a Christmas party. Everyone deserves something special.
When you're on a diet you get to eat chocolate cake...occasionally. If you've saved your goal for the month, and it was a descent, but reasonable amount, somewhere between $50 and $100, then go out and reward yourself with something, not so much that it would wipe out the savings, but something small that will make you happy.
For many of my clients, I'll have them set up a separate budget for splurging. When they reach their goal and they have the total amount saved, then they can take it, go out and splurge. That way they don't feel guilty about splurging (being Jewish, my tribe always carries guilt,) because they've saved for it.
Let me switch gears and give you something to think about: Thomas Gilovich a psychology professor at Cornell University was on CNN not too long ago talking about some research he'd just completed. His research showed that purchasing material goods only brings short-term happiness, while long term happiness is really derived from experiences. Remember the time when you were four years old and your father took you to the airport to watch the planes take off and land? I do. I remember it as if it was yesterday, and believe me, it wasn't! Do you remember last month, that thing you just had to have, and so you went out and purchased it? I'm thinking you don't even use it anymore after a month.
What about taking your kid to the park and creating great memories?
Let me know your thoughts.