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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Confessions of a Penny Pincher

We don't always Penny Pinch—I know, shocking!

Early on in our debt-slaying adventure we realized that if we held too tightly onto a strict budget and left no wiggle room, we would most likely throw in the towel if we didn't go insane first. So we—me more than Jake—have had to learn that splurging on entertainment every now and then is an almost necessary step in this journey, but at the same time we—Jake more than me—are learning to be more considerate about how we spend money on ourselves. As the old adage says: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Today, we don't really budget for entertainment, although we did at first. Now we've decided that our financial goal to become debt free is worth sacrificing a few years of movies and mini-golf. However, we occasionally treat ourselves to the latest, greatest new movie, and we don't feel guilty at all.

I've said before that I want to look back on this journey to debt-free living and have fond memories, not regrets. If we never went out and did anything fun or special I would probably go crazy, and Jake would have to deal with it :-)

Just recently we were invited by friends to go see Frozen—have you seen it? See it! It's great!—and we decided it was worth it to splurge a little bit. I'm glad we did, because we had a great time with our friends, enjoyed some good laughs, and made a great memory. The movie was funny, romantic, heart-warming, magical; a wonderful movie for the whole family.

We also try to find ways to entertain ourselves that don't involve spending money, which takes some creative thinking, but is lots of fun to execute. Jake opened his December envelope a couple weeks ago to reveal the next two date night suggestions: 1) a day trip out to see all the pretty Christmas lights with hot cocoa from home, and 2) a cookie-baking/Christmas movie-watching marathon, because Jake's two favorite things are cookies and movies so he was totally game for this! (And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out this previous blog post: Free Dates For A Year.)

So if you are just starting the Penny Pinching lifestyle, or if you're contemplating getting started, remember that there is no perfect way to do it. Sometimes you might have to bend the rules a little and treat yourself to something special, but if it helps you stay committed over the long haul then it's worth it!

Keep pinchin :-)

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