This weekend was a total departure from everything that I hear from PF’ers and “experts” out there every day, and you know what? I’m glad it was!
My wife and I live pretty regimented lives. Mostly, this is just the way things work out, and we enjoy the routine. Without going through my ENTIRE routine, our Sundays look a lot like this:
-Wake up late
-Go to the Gym for a couple of hours (maybe an hour and a half, but you get the idea)
-I do some school work, she cooks dinner from some cooking magazine she subscribes to.
-We watch TV till bed time
My wife has been wanting to go to the beach at night for some time now. We used to do this more often when we were young and didn’t have the same work and school responsibilities as we do now. We’d just go down PCH (all roads lead to PCH), find a “Main St.” which will usually lead to a pier, and walk around. Sometimes we would eat, others, we would just get coffee, and others, we would just hang out and have a good time.
Yesterday, I decided that I didn’t want to go through the routine, that I had just had it. I told my wife that we were going to not go to the gym, but were going to do some cardio in the form of a walk around an outlet center close to the house. We’d get some lunch, and then come home and go back to our routine. I didn’t do it so much to get out of going to the gym (although that was a bonus…,), but because my wife and I do all the right things all the time, and I was tired of it. I remembered how we used to be much more spontaneous, and I wanted to recapture that just for the day.
We had a good LUNCH (by the way, try their parmesan bleu fries!), and came home. When we got home, she took a nap while I did some school work for a couple of hours, and then we went out to the beach. We like the beach at night, because there are a lot of fun things to do, and it looks really cool out there at night.
After walking around for a little while, we were a little hungry so we had a little BREAKFAST FOR DINNER and came home.
So, just to summarize my Sunday, we:
-Skipped going to the gym
-Didn’t do our chores
-Spent $60.00 on food for two meals (okay, four, but I thought it would be poor taste to make her sit and watch while I ate)
-Ate a bunch of food that is NOT part of a healthy, balanced DIET
So, why is this okay? Well, like any diet, your goals have to be realistic, and include some cheat factor, or they will just fail. Personal Finance has to be the same. When I hear people who are just miserable because they are trying to save up for some far-away goal, and don’t loosen up a little bit to enjoy something a little closer to the present, I cringe a little. Look, I’m all about saving, and sacrificing for things you want in the future, but as long as it is a rarity, and not the norm, you also need to give yourself little rewards to remind you of what you are saving for. Not doing this is a sure bet that you will either not make your goals, or that you won’t enjoy the achievement because you will be bitter about what you gave up.