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Finding the Balance Between Saving Money and Living Life to the Full

It is easy to get so caught up in saving money that life kind of passes you by, isn’t it?

I love saving money but I also try to get some fun out of travelling, driving, eating long lunches in my garden, playing soccer with my daughter, reading books in cafes and generally living life to the full. So how can you make sure that your money saving doesn’t stop you from enjoying life?

Be Organized

I found that I was able to enjoy life more when I took a more organized approach to my finances. This might sound strange but I think it was because I was able to separate that part of my life and forget about it. Let me give you an example. Before I got myself organized I could have been out shopping with my wife. Maybe she would have suggested that we go and get something to eat. While we were sitting there trying to have a good time my brain would have been ticking over wondering whether or not we could afford the meal or whether I should have suggested something cheaper. However, with my organized approach I can head out knowing how much I can afford to spend. This means that I can go out in a much more relaxed frame of mind and know exactly what I can afford to do. All it takes is a few minutes each week to keep a spreadsheet up to date and understand how you are doing.

Known When to Let Your Hair Down

Have you ever tried really hard to keep on saving for a long time before eventually losing your ability to carry on? This sort of situation usually ends in some sort of financial blow out which can damage your bank balance for a long time afterwards. I think that it is important that you know when to let your hair down occasionally and spend a little cash. This doesn’t have to mean a luxury vacation or anything of the sort. Sometimes all it takes is a trip to the local park or a couple of coffees with friends to let you feel as though you are striking the right balance in your life. If you don’t let your hair down and spend some money occasionally then you risk either getting horribly frustrated with your life or else spending money on something as a reaction to your austere lifestyle.  

Enjoy the Free Things

Of course, you don’t need to spend money to have fun, do you? The fact that there are so many free things to do means that you can still live life to the full without having to compromise on your saving plans. Instead of having your lunch at the table you can have it outside and turn it into a family picnic. Instead of taking the auto or public transport to work you could walk and enjoy the kind of stroll which lets you see the place you live in a way you don’t usually do. Instead of sitting in and watching the television you could organize some games with your family or friends. There are plenty of free activities which can make you feel as though you are enjoying life without wasting cash. Take a few minutes to think about the free things you could do which could help you enjoy your days more and which won’t ruin your financial plans. There are sure to be more of them than you might first of all think possible.

What other tactics have you found for not letting your saving plans take the fun away from your life?

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8 Responses to Finding the Balance Between Saving Money and Living Life to the Full

  1. Having an unemployed spouse and a debt-free goal has let us be really creative with finding “free” things to do. Seriously, the ideas are endless and it certainly has made our frugal life more bearable!
    Michelle @fitisthenewpoor recently posted…3 Reasons For Avoiding the Black Friday Circus- Kay of Green Money StreamMy Profile

  2. Brian So says:

    Great tips! I would add that a cheap vacation will help you not feel so frustrated from not spending money. Even something small like a road trip will help relieve some of that stress.
    Brian So recently posted…LifePhases: an alternative to term and permanent life insuranceMy Profile

  3. Great post! I especially identify with your point about being organized- it really helps us to figure out in advance what we are going to do in terms of meals when we are away from home. If we don’t do this we just tend to go pick up food wherever, which usually costs more money (and is often not very healthy food, depending on where we are!) Better to plan.
    Dee @ Color Me Frugal recently posted…Top 6 Reasons to Look Your Bank Statements Over CarefullyMy Profile

  4. We do a lot of free things. Our social life isn’t very expensive whatsoever. I also really connect with the organization example. We would “cave” and then I would be so upset that we slipped off budget I couldn’t enjoy my meal – before it was done we were vowing another stint of extreme no spending. If we had allowed for a slip once in awhile with a small buffer, it wouldn’t have hurt my head and spreadsheet do much!
    Alicia @FinDiffraction recently posted…extra retirement contribution room.My Profile

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