I have gotten pretty good at saving money. It’s a long shot but I am trying to save for my eldest son’s college. But there is a once-in-a-lifetime show happening in a theatre near to where I live. Its Edith Nesbit’s Railway Children, something that both my kids and I would love to see. Although I’m pretty sure that I can make up for the money I would spend here (more freelance work for me), a part of me is worried that this would open the floodgates and I wouldn’t stop spending afterward. Do things happen? Do you make one extraordinary spending and you can’t help yourself? Should I go to the theatre or not

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."

Original Post

Elice- it's hard to say not knowing your situation a bit further. However, I can share how I tend to look at these situations. I first wait a day or two to make sure it's not an impulse purchase. Then I wonder how that particular expense will effect my financial situation.  Will I have to pay interest on this expense? Will this prevent me from paying other bills or enjoying other activities that I do on a normal basis? Whats the over-reaching impact that this expense might create?

And then I ask myself, is this particular expense going to be something I will remember 10, 20, 30 years from now- will it be memorable? If not, then it's not something that would be worth my money. If it is, then I find a way to make it work financially- because we need to plan financially for happiness.

Hope that helps

Mike

Mike @Michael Metzger Great advice!

 

@Elice Max

I agree, it should not be an impulse purchase but it sounds like you are putting some thought into it which is good. After a day or so, if you still can't get it off your mind then it might be worth it.

We all work hard to keep our finances in check but we also have to realize that sometimes, it is moments like these that are the reason we work so hard on it in the first place.

As far as not continuing to spend, it will take some self control, but just remember it is a treat for working hard on your finances and don't allow yourself another treat until you have put in more effort and made some more progress down the road.

But I certainly believe that spending money on things that are rewarding to us can boost our morale and encourage us to keep going strong.

@Elice Max It sounds like a fabulous opportunity to make memories for you and your children! Look at it as an investment in their future, you are teaching them to be money smart but also letting them know that doing things together is one of the reasons you are working hard to save.  

My adult children always bring up things in our past that are memorable to them today! And I reminisce constantly about them, as well! I wish I'd grabbed more opportunities when they were at home.  

Elise, The experience sounds wonderful and I agree with all the previous posts.

I do just want to say that I am an overeater and love sweets. I can keep it in control, but if I have one out of control experience (like having a whole cake at the house), it CAN trigger a binge that could go on for hours, days, even weeks. If that is how you are with spending, beware. 

Elice, I know you know money isn't just for keeping the electricity on. It allows us to do things we otherwise couldn't do.  If you offset your outing by having a picnic at a place that is free (A museum? The arboretum? etc.) - you'd make a very special time together.  Those are treasures; keepers for you and your children.  Be sure to save the programs from the theatre and get a picture of all of you together in front of one of your celebratory places.  [A photo album with photos and memories like that will be special to hand them when they go out on their own.] know how old your children are; but a once a month "date" with Mom can work out even on a tight budget.  We always had favorite "stomping places" we loved to go to that were free, depending on the weather.  (A lovely little lake where we could feed the ducks and geese during the warmer months, hiking trails, a family game night at home with popcorn or ice cream, etc.)  That gave us special things to do as a family, with little money expended. I think the time of "letting off steam" may help curb your desires to go wild with expenditures at other times.  

Michael Metzger posted:

Elice- it's hard to say not knowing your situation a bit further. However, I can share how I tend to look at these situations. I first wait a day or two to make sure it's not an impulse purchase. Then I wonder how that particular expense will effect my financial situation.  Will I have to pay interest on this expense? Will this prevent me from paying other bills or enjoying other activities that I do on a normal basis? Whats the over-reaching impact that this expense might create?

And then I ask myself, is this particular expense going to be something I will remember 10, 20, 30 years from now- will it be memorable? If not, then it's not something that would be worth my money. If it is, then I find a way to make it work financially- because we need to plan financially for happiness.

Hope that helps

Mike

And then I ask myself, is this particular expense going to be something I will remember 10, 20, 30 years from now- will it be memorable?

This is an important question. And frankly, it’s the reason I’m thinking about buying the tickets in the first place.

Moore Income posted:

Mike @Michael Metzger Great advice!

 

@Elice Max

I agree, it should not be an impulse purchase but it sounds like you are putting some thought into it which is good. After a day or so, if you still can't get it off your mind then it might be worth it.

We all work hard to keep our finances in check but we also have to realize that sometimes, it is moments like these that are the reason we work so hard on it in the first place.

As far as not continuing to spend, it will take some self control, but just remember it is a treat for working hard on your finances and don't allow yourself another treat until you have put in more effort and made some more progress down the road.

But I certainly believe that spending money on things that are rewarding to us can boost our morale and encourage us to keep going strong.

We all work hard to keep our finances in check but we also have to realize that sometimes, it is moments like these that are the reason we work so hard on it in the first place.

Great words Moore. There’s no point in saving if we don’t get to enjoy life. Sometimes you lose the perspective trying to save every penny.

mintjulep posted:

@Elice Max It sounds like a fabulous opportunity to make memories for you and your children! Look at it as an investment in their future, you are teaching them to be money smart but also letting them know that doing things together is one of the reasons you are working hard to save.  

My adult children always bring up things in our past that are memorable to them today! And I reminisce constantly about them, as well! I wish I'd grabbed more opportunities when they were at home.  

My adult children always bring up things in our past that are memorable to them today!

As a mommy of two pre-teens, this really hit home. I need to create more memories. Thank you for bringing this up.

dboothe posted:

Elise, The experience sounds wonderful and I agree with all the previous posts.

I do just want to say that I am an overeater and love sweets. I can keep it in control, but if I have one out of control experience (like having a whole cake at the house), it CAN trigger a binge that could go on for hours, days, even weeks. If that is how you are with spending, beware. 

Your example of having the whole cake is something that has me worried. If I go through this, it will take a lot of self-control afterward.

Jenny Waldensi posted:

Elice, I know you know money isn't just for keeping the electricity on. It allows us to do things we otherwise couldn't do.  If you offset your outing by having a picnic at a place that is free (A museum? The arboretum? etc.) - you'd make a very special time together.  Those are treasures; keepers for you and your children.  Be sure to save the programs from the theatre and get a picture of all of you together in front of one of your celebratory places.  [A photo album with photos and memories like that will be special to hand them when they go out on their own.] know how old your children are; but a once a month "date" with Mom can work out even on a tight budget.  We always had favorite "stomping places" we loved to go to that were free, depending on the weather.  (A lovely little lake where we could feed the ducks and geese during the warmer months, hiking trails, a family game night at home with popcorn or ice cream, etc.)  That gave us special things to do as a family, with little money expended. I think the time of "letting off steam" may help curb your desires to go wild with expenditures at other times.  

This was really heartwarming. Come to think of it, I haven’t created many experiences like the ones you mentioned. I would definitely consider creating a photo album. Thanks for the reply, Jenny.

Hey kiddo how many times have we spent money on things that were not very satisfying. You say ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY. Go for it . Devise a plan to pay for it. Your smart you know how to do this. Regrets should not be in your vocabulary. Don't let this be one.........Mr Wayne

Elise,  I don't mean to cause stress if that is not your issue.  I was having a particular struggle at that time. Sugar is my drug of choice and I was CRAVING like crazy because I didn't refuse a free cookie. Lesson learned. A free cookie is not a wasted opportunity but avoiding a catastrophe for me.

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