What would you guys say if, after paying all my bills, putting money towards my debt and the some aside for long-term, I spent the rest on marshmallows.
Maybe different kinds of marshmallows, like those coloured ones or the jumbo sized ones, or those jars of marshmallow cream. Let’s say I spent every leftover penny I had on marshmallow things because it just brought me unequivocal joy to stock my cupboards with sugar fluff — would I be wasting my money?
I feel like respondents will be in one of two camps:
YES you are wasting your money! What return does marshmallow cream give you? Nothing! vs. NO you are not wasting your money! Marshmallows bring you happiness, so why not?
At this point you probably understand I’m using marshmallows as a metaphor to represent any materialistic want that generally serves no purpose other than short-term enjoyment.
I’m bringing this up because a friend sent me a somewhat horrified text message when I confessed on twitter I dropped $200 at the spa — only shortly after I shared that I like to cut my own hair. She asked me to “justify” my outrageous spending while claiming to be frugal. I have only one justification:
My money is mine.
Actually, my first justification was half of my spa bill was going to be immediately reimbursed because massages are covered by my employer health plan.
Just for future reference, I actually drop that amount at the spa on a monthly basis, only this month my regular appointments landed on the same day inflating the bill for the visit.
I, of course, prioritize the most essential aspects of my budget like housing and health costs. But, if there’s room in my budget for not-so-essentials, it’s my choice to spend accordingly!
When money comes in and you have to decide how/if to spend it, these are the questions to ask:
1. Are all my needs taken care of?
Food, shelter, clothing! If you’re short on one of these, you can be in immediate physical danger. You have to take care of your health & safety before anything else.
2. Are all my obligated payments made?
Credit card bills, loan payments, car payments, insurance. These are things that won’t put you at risk if you miss, but it can cause problems like hurt your credit score later!
3. Have I put some money aside for long-term and short-term goals?
This means contributing to a retirement fund and an emergency fund, and also for something else you might be working towards like a vacation or a down-payment on a home.
If the answer is YES to all of the above and you have cash left over, I say do whatever you want with it. You can tackle more debt or put it towards a goal, or yes, you can buy out the local grocery store’s supply of marshmallows.
It doesn’t matter, it’s your money.