Save money. Money should be saved. Get your wage, spend only what you need to and keep it in a savings account. Savings.
That’s the general gist of the vast majority of financial advice, anyway. Saving is good; a route to the promised land of financial security. And to an extent, that’s absolutely true. Once you have reached the green pastures of being debt-free, then building your savings or potentially paying off your mortgage become the next big milestones.
For once, it’s a nice “however”. It’s not the kind of however that is there to try and rein in your impulses, convince you to be sensible and do exactly as you are told. This “however” is about the simple reality that sometimes, spending money is really nice.
There is nothing quite like the glow of a new purchase to make you smile. It’s a world of possibilities all wrapped up into a woven leather handbag that you couldn’t resist; the lure of a nail color that you admire for hours on end; the delights of a new perfume that fragrances your every move. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying these things. Materialism is not an inherently bad thing - it just means you have an appreciation for the finer things in life. There’s no harm in wanting to surround yourself with beauty.
Of course, this doesn’t give you license to just abandon all sound financial planning and go and indulge your love of fashion, beauty and homewares for the sake of it. These items are not necessities, so there’s no real reason to budget for them as a matter of course either. What you need is a “Treat Me” fund.
What’s A “Treat Me” Fund?
It’s an amount of money you set aside to be used purely for the pleasures in life. If you have a fashion habit, it can help fund your next wardrobe as you experiment with styles. If beauty is your thing, it can be saved to splurge on the next range from your favorite brand. For a homewares weakness, it’s a stash of money to enjoy the next time the trends change and you suddenly find yourself wondering what you should do with all those succulents.
So It’s A Savings Account.
Using a savings account (and thus accruing interest) is a good idea for your fund - but the difference is all in the mentality. Savings are generally not for any particular purpose; they’re money stashed away as a form of protection against the oddities of life. A “Treat Me” fund is being set aside specifically to be used at a later date, not saved until you’re writing it into your will.
Why Is This A Good Idea Financially?
By setting aside a small amount of money each month and then accessing it when the need sets itself upon you, it’s a form of financial protection. You can’t quell the urge for the pretty things in life, but you can control it. Rather than turning to credit cards or using the money you set aside for your electricity bill, you’ve got money there and ready to go to indulge your whims. In the long run, it’s far financially healthier than attempting pure self-denial. So you can shop and enjoy yourself without any nagging guilt.