With confidence, I can say most people have been on a vacation, attended an event or hosted several guests before and at the end of the month they look at their monthly net income and they are deep in the red. The good things about these events are that they are typically forecasted, and the bad news is it widens the gap to achieve long term financial goals.
For me at least, with vacations/events or hosting guests the last thing I want to do is look at my budget and impose restrictions. Enacting restrictions feels like I will be stingy, reserved and more distant from my friends. There are two root causes to this feeling, the first being that I have worked so incredibly diligent and hard to get to where I am today, so why shouldn’t I be able to make that purchase? I arrive to work early every day, I work smart, long hours, am consistently networking and I always to improve myself, why can’t I buy those $300 clothing articles or eat at the finest oceanside restaurants? The second being with friends attending or going to an event I tell myself certain falsehoods such as they came all the way over here, I need to show them the best of the best and I equate this to nice restaurants, high-end adventures and attending certain clubs. While both of these scenarios have a hint of truth, that I should be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor and I need to show them the best time possible, it simply doesn’t need to be done with reckless spending. Over the next paragraph, I will try to find solutions to these two scenarios by breaking down what can be done to reduce the financial burden, so, by month end, nobody is caught off guard.
From the first root cause mentioned earlier, working diligent, smart, long hours and networking doesn’t guarantee we will arrive in a prosperous situation where we can let go of proper budgeting. Through one to three months of sticking to one’s budget through proper saving and investing, one can decide to make the purchase at the restaurant or buy the fine articles of clothing. Doing these things can’t and shouldn’t be done on a perpetual basis every day because it ultimately leads to a removed lifestyle, while spoiling one from the smaller joys in life such as cooking a meal or working hard towards a goal and being able to make that purchase. Meals cooked on one’s own can be much more fulfilling when completed at a fraction of the cost and expensive clothing can often be found at the outlet mall for a third of the cost that may be just two to three months out of style(who cares). From the second root cause above, many activities can be done that are relatively cheap but still exciting on a vacation. Hiking, cycling, frisbee golf, swimming at the pool or meeting up at a friend’s house are all cheap, but fun and exciting activities. It is still nice to go take friends and out to the nice restaurants and shows but try leaning away from making these events the highlight of every day during the vacation.
Social spending is something most people enjoy partaking in. Often, we work long weeks, where we may have interaction with people we don’t get along with or sometimes we don’t get much interaction at all. Having friends and families to hang out with that care about us provides many of us tremendous comfort. These vacations and events should not be spending outlets for our troubles during the week, rather healthy recoveries that propel us individuals to reach our financial milestones.
Nothing stated in this article is a recommendation from Forehand Financial to buy or sell a particular security or asset class. You should wisely consider your tolerance for risk, time horizon, and financial goals before making an investment. With investing, you run the risk of losing money, always read an investment prospectus and make an informed decision before allocating capital to a particular investment.