A financial therapist says penny-pinching probably isn’t going to help you spend less, but the occasional splurge might

friends eating outside

Aggressively limiting your spending is kind of like dieting — at some point, you’re going to overindulge and blow all the progress you made.
Instead of saying no to every single “indulgence,” a financial counselor says it’s better to say yes once in a while and let yourself enjoy your money.
Don’t toss your budget, though — it’s still important to track your money, save, and spend within your limits. Consider giving yourself a monthly budget for “fun money” so you don’t feel overly restricted.
personal finance coverage.

If you’ve ever blown your budget on eating out, shopping, or entertainment, you know some of the biggest financial issues we deal with can stem from a basic lack of self control.

If you’re hoping to boost your savings, focus on your investments, or get out of debt, curbing — or completely eliminating — impulse purchases seems like the most logical solution.

But there’s actually scientific evidence that depriving yourself could do you more harm in the long run. That’s why people who crash diet typically end up craving and eating more junk food.

On the flip side, some behavioral scientists think allowing yourself a lapse in self control every now and then could be key to maintaining will power.

Flex your ‘self-control muscle’

Picture self control as a muscle. If you’re constantly working that muscle, it will eventually run out of energy, leading you to lose control later on.

Financial experts say this principle holds true when it comes to money. For example, if you say “no” to eating out with friends every time they ask for the sake of sticking with a tight budget, your deprivation might cause you to overdo it later on, leading you to spend more money.

Todd Christensen, accredited financial counselor and education manager at MoneyFit, regularly counsels clients and leads workshops on effective budgeting.

He compares an overly-tight budget with no wiggle room to physical pressure. “Like a release valve on a steam engine, if we don’t release the pressure on the boiler, it will explode, leading to massive overspending and loss of effectiveness.”

How to ‘let loose’ without totally losing control

Just because an ultra-strict budget could cause you to overspend doesn’t mean you should throw out the budget altogether.

Mindless spending with no boundaries in place isn’t a great solution, either, since it can result in the same over-spending problem.

So what’s the happy medium for keeping the self-control muscle …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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