Reader Sara recently shared an article with me, and I wanted to pass it on to you.
“I read an article in Psychology Today that I found thought-provoking. It talks about how cheapskates may suffer from “hyperopia” which, I think, means they think about the future so much that they miss out on opportunities to do things (and therefore spend money) and tend to look back at the situation and wistfully wonder what would have happened if they had gone to the game, gone on the road trip, etc.
This article hit close to home for me. I grew up in a penny-pinching household and am just now (at 28) beginning to realize that it’s OK to spend money on things that will make you happier and healthier.
It’s still not OK to spend outside your means, but if an opportunity for a weekend get-away comes up, you should take it instead of wondering how that will affect your finances and keeping your wallet closed and missing out.”
I found myself identifying with the descriptions of tightwads in the article (Yes, I’m borderline OCD with hoarding tendencies. And yes, I’m darn proud of the deals I get!)
But at the same time, I also found myself nodding in agreement with Sara.
You see, you can be frugal and still have a life.
You can live within your means and still have meaning to your life.
It’s about finding balance. It’s about putting a value on the things and experiences that are important to you.
I’m frugal (dare say, a cheapskate!) in many areas of my life, so that I can splurge on things that are important to me.
In fact, I do a lot of things that you may not consider cheap at all: I have satellite television, a Blackberry, and a small SUV. I love to eat out (at least once a week), and if the right opportunity presents itself, I just may escape to a whirlpool suite with my husband for a night or two without the kids.
I clip coupons and stockpile toothpaste so that I can afford these splurges. I watch the sales, maintain what I own, and recycle what I can, so that I have money in the bank for both rainy days and fun times.
And I want all of you to do the same. Live within your means, but have fun.
All work and no play makes life pretty dull.