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A Little Splurge for Me

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After 4 years of using my hard, solid wood dining room chair as my office chair, I decided to treat myself. I bought myself an office chair! Cushioned, adjustable and with armrests. I’m in heaven!

My workspace where I spent 10ish hours per day.

I ordered it off Amazon and it’s been work-altering! The purchase wasn’t just driven by my sore behind. But also my achy neck from sitting at an odd angle.

But I did it, I spent $150 on myself and I know it is a worthy investment as my aches and pains have already subsided. Which results in a more productive and longer work day. Score!

One of my takeaways from my “million dollar” exercise was how selfish personal finance is and in fact, needs to be. As someone who has always put others first (ie my kids or at least my dreams for my kids,) this has been a hard pill to swallow. But as I have been rolling around my goals in my head, I have realized that it is time I start putting myself first. My future, my dreams, my security.

So my plan is to sit down with my goals and dreams, the goals and dreams that are just for me. I’m not going to think about the kids. I’m not going to think about the kids’ college expenses or their need for a car. Or what I “should” be doing. Instead, I’m going to focus on my goals and what I need. My future.

As JP mentioned in the comments last week, I’m going to make a 5 year plan. And see how that looks.

Is this something you have done? And when you have a 5 year plan, do you work backwards to set up your personal finances? Like this is where I want to be and then work on the steps to get there? That’s how I would work a work project, but I’ve never done it in my own life, my personal finances.


10 Comments

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    I have an annual plan, a 5 year plan and a long term plan. Any time you finance something or expend\ save large amounts you should be examining the costs and determining how what you are doing will impact those plans. Financing a car, saving for a vacation cruise these are all things that will impact your ability to save for your retirement or dream house or in short future you. My position on personal finance is in order to be successful you have to plan and balance carefully between present you and future you. Most of us who have dealt with a lack of funds tend to live in the now. Its what we are used to. Money comes in, money flows out. Once we have “leftover” money we see it as a boon rather than an opportunity to secure our financial future(and consequently that of our loved ones). That’s a major mistake. You need to overcome that desire to expend every dollar today and start planning for the use of those dollars on future you and her needs(housing, medical, etc, etc)

    As far as not being selfish by buying your children things and experiences (while ignoring the fact you may be destitute in the future worrying about housing, and how to live due to poor planning) , its a matter of perspective. Your being stubborn and shortsighted about the difference between a need and a want could cost your children piece of mind in their futures. Your kids are going to start their lives and have families, the best gift you can give them is knowing that mom is not going to be their own burden down the line because you thought about what you will need(not just want) and have prepared for it. Don’t burden them with expensive gifts of expensive cars now that lead to you having to live in their homes because you never saved for future you and her needs. In the past you have pursued wants without carefully examining what those wants cost in terms of future needs. This has led to you and your children experiencing a feast or famine lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle many people who experience poverty are familiar with(and yes I am included in that number.) In order to succeed you have to break that cycle and teach your kids that sometimes we can’t have everything we want at the minute we want it if it means expending every last dollar. I worry in particular, based on how you say the twins treat money, that you have taught your children that poverty mentality and as a result future them will struggle because present them hasn’t learned restraint(I can’t buy the video game with money that future me needs for car insurance) and the fundamental principle of economics, each of us has the capacity for unlimited wants but only limited means to meet our needs and wants.

    Anyway, I am proud of you and how far you have come. It takes strength and courage to examine how you do things and choose to make changes when warranted. Good luck.

    • Reply Hope |

      Doing more long term planning is something I am currently working on. Especially considering that I will most likely be an empty-nester in approx. 3 years. Not that I won’t still have responsibilities and continue to help the kids out. But my living decisions will no longer need to be driven by their needs…school districts, transportation, food, etc.

  • Reply SMS |

    That was a sensible purchase, Hope. Good job.
    I’ve said this before, but I think the most important part of your future plans should be starting to save for retirement. Just start and put away a little bit each month.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, I am on it. I think I am now on month two of bi-weekly contributions to a ROTH IRA. It comes out of my account before I even see it.
      Baby steps…

  • Reply Consuelo |

    Chair seems like a sensible and healthful purchase. I want to add to what cwaltz and others have suggested: for years it has seemed to me that “poor peoples thinking” is a real phenomenon….it is often characterized by an over emphasis on the importance of cars and on pushing young adults out so they can “grow up”. High income parents, in my exprience, usually buy USED cars for their new drivers and happily forgo collision and comprehensive coverage. High income parents think INVESTING in their kids well into their mid 20s makes the most sense…money for school, training, and travel. High income parents know that it usually takes way more than 2 decades to get a young adult fully independent and able to avoid debt and dumb financial choices ….your adopted twin sons appear to me to be on track to repeat many of the same mistakes you’ve made….parents MUST model self control early and consistently…..cars are always a dumb investment as they depreciate like concrete in water, so as soon as I hear about large car purchases by someone on a tight budget, I can predict alot about them, their kids and, unfortunately their grandkids too….

    • Reply Hope |

      I would agree with most everything you have stated…and for the most part that is how I have parented as well.
      -The car I purchased the twins was used and we did not carry collision or comprehensive coverage. Sea Cadet totaled it. Their cars now are both used, less than $2K each, and they do not carry collision or comprehensive coverage (and I didn’t either when they were under my policy.)
      -Both twins know that if they are going to school, training, Americorp (Sea Cadet, last year), I will continue to support them – room and board, etc. When they chose to not continue any education, etc. and were just working full time, it was time for them to step up and contribute…small room and board payment here at home and then they moved out.
      -Neither of the twins has any debt, no credit card and are both living in a budget as far as their living expenses go, which they have already expressed how helpful it is. I cannot and do not control how they spend their money, but I am confident in the guidance I give them.
      -The twins know that I am here to help when needed, ie get their cars up and running, help them move out, etc. So I continue to invest in them, but I do not think allowing them to freeload as young adults, working full time in their chosen careers is the right message either.

      If you are referring to my used car purchase, granted a newer car, then you are right. My greatest fear is a car breaking down and being stranded especially since we live in a city with no public transportation, and there may be one cab here. So I do choose to spend a bit more on more reliable newer cars. But I do believe I’ve learned my lesson in this area as well. If I lived in a bigger city…I would happily go without a car and did in fact do that after college when I moved to Chicago.

  • Reply csdx |

    So does this mean the No Spend challenge is gone? Though having been working from home as of late, a proper office chair does wonders for something you need to sit on for hours. I didn’t last a month on a kitchen table chair before I went and bought one.

So, what do you think ?