There is nothing worse than wasting money, in my opinion. I do my best to live frugally, and I’m always looking for ways to save money and decrease my debt.
I have one Achilles heel that you probably wouldn’t expect: I waste my money on a gym membership. And I do mean “waste” the money, as I only use it three or four times a month. I have all kinds of reasons for not making it to the gym more regularly, but it’s really because I hate going to the gym and prefer to work out at home.
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Here is the deal: I know that I’m making a poor financial decision, but I don’t care. I am willing to pay for the flexibility of having a gym membership for the times when I just need to get out of the house. I’ve got a 2-year-old daughter who gets a little bit stir crazy, as well. Most of the time, I can keep her occupied while I work out and incorporate her into my routine, but when it doesn’t happen, I want — no, need — the escape that the gym provides.
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The truth of the matter is, we all to have our ways of blowing money each month. We all make stupid financial decisions. What matters is how frequently we blow our money and the decision-making process behind our choices. I keep myself on a fairly tight budget and need to know that occasionally it is OK to waste a little bit of money. Wasting money for those small moments that keep me sane in the other crazy moments of my life is completely worth it to me in the long run.
Yes, my gym membership is going to cost me $420 this year. If I continue to go at my current rate of 4 times a month, that means I’m paying $8.75 each time I go to the gym. When I break it down into those terms, I can equate it to eating out one meal. I can easily decide to skip eating out once a week in order to keep a gym membership I’m barely using.
More on Paying for the Gym: Get Discounts on Gym Memberships (and More) Through AAA
So, yes, I might be wasting money on the membership, but I’m doing it consciously. I’m making the decision to waste money rather than not having a clue where my wasted money is occurring in my budget.
My budget is most successful when I’m making conscious financial decisions, even if they are poor ones. My budget is unsuccessful when I stop paying attention (or, worse, when I get so annoyed with my lack of freedom that I do something stupid).
In my opinion, this is the true key to a successful budget. It is all about knowing where your money is going and making financial decisions that work for your lifestyle.
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