I learned a valuable lesson my first year college. Money doesn’t grow on trees (yet! I’m hoping to invent that tree). So like many others, my first year of college was super exciting. I was on my own, independent, not a care in the world, and unfortunately I had to learn to do laundry, quickly.
I was fortunate enough to have a high school graduation party and had generous amounts of money handed to me. I “saved” it for college books, supplies, and whatever fun adventures college freedom would bring me. Unfortunately I hadn’t learned that lesson about money not growing on trees yet and I landed up spending a few thousand dollars in a few months. Big costly mistake (literally).
Since those years of bad financial decisions, I have been able to learn the lesson of saving money and not being caught in a rut. Becoming an adult will do that to you especially when you have student loans, bills, and other expenses staring you in the face.
However, I have also learned that it is ok to spend your money now and not “save” it all for the future. I like planning for the future, but I also like enjoying the present and what it has to offer me now. We are a generation of “now”.
We want the latest fashion now. We want the latest gadget now. We want to get a new car now. We want to watch it now. At some point we should gain some patience and learn to wait.
I admit I always want things now and often times I get it now and spend the money for it. Instead of waiting for a sale or markdown or even giving something an idea for a upcoming present. Spending money now is easy in today’s day with the instant gratification of having some shipped to you in a couple days or picking it up in the store.
Yes, there are times when spending abundantly shouldn’t become a pattern (aka my first year of college). But occasionally treating yourself to something new isn’t a bad thing. After all we can’t take the money with us when we die and when you’re older you may become to frugal to buy anything.
Save a little here and spend a little here. Life is about balancing. Balance your relationships, work, finances, and everything else. Learning and eventually knowing your limit can make things enjoyable in life. So if you have the control and handle on your money, then spend it now. It doesn’t hurt to spend a little and save a little at the same time.
I learned in college that saving money is important for a “rainy day fund” as my mom likes to call it. You never know when an emergency is going to happen and you’re going to need some cash fast. Be aware of your funds and keep track of them. Use today’s technology and apps to get a hold of what your finances are doing so you can save and spend together.
Personally I have come to enjoy banks like Simple and apps like Mint that help you set financial goals for yourself. They are definitely worth checking out if your smartphone is always with you. Keeping track of your money and saving towards a vacation or present for yourself is rewarding, especially when you have saved enough. Get to know your spending habits and get to know your patterns, spending money now isn’t as scary as it seems as long as you do it all with balance.