Time for another Q&A!
Q. I got myself into debt by spending too much money on things I don’t need. Now that I’m paying it off, I haven’t purchased anything extra in months. But I’m feeling all deprived. If I’m in debt should I avoid all purchases and travel?
This is a great question. And a really hard one to answer.
In an ideal world, you take every extra dime you’ve got to get rid of that debt. But it never is an ideal world, is it? I’ve got three kids, and I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times that things have come up that money needed to be spent on – especially when I was deep in debt.
So, I guess my answer is this. It just isn’t feasible to cut out all extraneous spending. Not in the real world. But, I would be smart with my spending.
Do your kids need to play four sports? Or could they be content with one or two? Remember that the more they are in, the more you spend. It’s not just the cost of the sport and the gear they need, either. There is gas to go to the events. Food when you are there because it’s at an awkward time for meals. You get what I’m saying…
Do you need to fly to Florida and go to Disney World? Or could you take a day and go to Cedar Point instead? The cost difference between those two is astronomical.
Sure, your kids are only young once, but if you teach them that it’s okay to spend extravagantly (even when you clearly don’t have it), that’s how they are going to handle money as adults too.
It’s a fine line – and your best bet is to play it safe. I’m not saying you need to never ever spend money on anything fun or extra until you are completely debt free – I’m just saying that you should be smart about it.