On selection Sunday it was announced that my alma mater would play in the NCAA tournament. When the Gamecocks popped up on the screen for the NCAA tournament and it said they will be playing in Greenville, which is where I live, I immediately hopped on the internet and bought tickets. Honestly, I didn’t even think twice about it.
They beat Marquette in the first round for their first NCAA win in 13 years and beat Duke on that Sunday to make it to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. I was able to witness both wins and I can honestly say it was worth every penny. I have no regrets about my purchase.
Sometimes we focus so much on saving, putting extra money toward our debts, and just money in general that we miss out on life. I am not saying you should spend $10K on a vacation just because you want to go a private beach (unless you saved for it). I also don’t think you need to splurge on extra clothes or accessories unless it is in your budget. You need to pick moments that are worth spending a little extra or saving a little less.
I will have memories of that weekend forever. Cheering with my best friend and sister as our team won their first NCAA game in 13 years. High-fiving random fans, hugging strangers, and celebrating with my school. I will have memories of me losing my voice from screaming. Memories of my legs shaking in those final minutes of the game when it hit me that we might actually beat Duke. The University of South Carolina is about to beat Duke and Coach K. We went to the Sweet 16 for the first time EVER. I got about 5 hours of sleep total this past weekend and it was worth it all. I will be able to tell stories from this weekend forever.
I think it is so important to get control of your finances. Everyone needs to. I am not encouraging going into debt over some basketball tickets, but if you can afford it, even if it is more than you’d like to pay and you might not be able to save that month, to me it is worth it.
Some tips for deciding when to splurge:
1. Pick Your Battles
This isn’t something you can do every week. Or even every month. You shouldn’t be splurging on every concert you want to go to just because you LOVE that artist or NEED new clothes. For me it is about once in a lifetime (or rare) experiences. When I get back from Australia I will most likely be sitting at home for May and June and eating PB&J for lunch (and possibly dinner). I will not be splurging during those months. I chose my battle and it was worth every dollar I spent.
2. Don’t Go Into Debt
If you aren’t going to be able to pay your bills or you are going to go into debt then it isn’t worth it. It might seem like it is but it definitely is not worth going into debt. The goal is to be debt free and I don’t think you should spend money you don’t have (or will not have).
3. Don’t Have Guilt
Yes I will not be able to save much this month. I spent money on these tickets and I go to Australia next week. I have no guilt or regrets about buying those tickets. When I am old and telling stories to my kids and grandkids I don’t want to say, look at all my savings!! I want to say listen to this story! I would love to live comfortably and have a nice savings account but I don’t want to miss out on experiences. If I don’t save for one month I think I will survive.
“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” 1 Timothy 6:7 NIV
Did these tickets ruin my March budget? Yup 100%. Did I increase any debt by buying these tickets? No, not at all. Will I be hitting my saving target for March? 0%
The point of this post so to remind everyone to not miss out on life because you are so focused on your money. I have no regrets about spending that money. It was not in my budget but that is okay. It is okay to save less that month in order to splurge on the memories. It is okay to halt your accelerated debt payoff plan (please pay at least the minimum) for one month to experience these rare moments. Those memories are what you cherish. Those memories are what you tell your kids and grandkids so one day they tell their kids and grandkids. Those memories are what you think about when you are reflecting on your life. You can make some sacrifices the following month and get back on track. Financial freedom is important but you have to find a balance.
What are your thoughts? Do you think it is okay to splurge occasionally?