For the past six months or so – but especially since paying off my car in September – I’ve been experiencing some serious lifestyle inflation. I haven’t bought anything super expensive, but I’ve been getting my nails done more, buying clothes whenever the fancy strikes, and eating out pretty much whenever I want. I’ve also been abandoning some of my most entrenched frugal habits, like always making my own coffee and never eating lunch out.
I think this basically comes from three years of serious penny pinching. I feel really good about the financial progress I’ve made, and I just want to loosen up for a few months. But we all know what can happen – a few months turns into six months, which turns into a year, which turns into ten years, which turns into a lifetime of unhealthy financial habits. I consider myself a reformed spendaholic, but I’m not that reformed. I know I can easily slip into bad habits and never slip back out of them.
2012 will be the year of building up my cash savings. I’m toying with the idea of setting the ambitious goal of building up $10,000 in one year. It will be difficult, but it’s not totally outrageous. And I want to start 2012 off right, so for right now I’m setting the goal of having at least $1,500 in my Freedom Fund when the year ends – which will mean I’ll have $8,500 to save in 2012. My balance will bounce up and down throughout the next two months, but I think $1,500 is reasonable. And it gives me something to focus on so that my spending will remain somewhat in check.
Does accomplishing financial goals every make you celebrate a little too much? Have a great week!