Just because you’re pursuing financial freedom doesn’t mean you can never enjoy your money. You just need to be smart about how you do it.
People are sometimes surprised to hear that God wants them to enjoy their money, but they shouldn’t be — God is a good father who loves giving us good gifts. Of course, having too much fun — or the wrong kind of fun — can cause you financial trouble. But not having any fun can cause problems too.
If you’re only focused on results, you may be tempted to eliminate all fun from your budget. After all, the less you spend, the more you’ll have for paying off debt. But this approach doesn’t work out well. You were created with a desire to enjoy life. If you don’t allow yourself and your family some fun along the way, you’re missing an element of the freedom you were made for.
Fun is an important part of financial life, no matter where you are on the journey. But right now, the amount of money you have to spend on fun is small. So I’m going to give you some principles that will help you have fun in smart ways and keep your freedom journey on track.
But first, I want to tell you about Stress-Free Finance, a free program we have created to help you make sense of your overwhelming financial life. This five-part video series has short, simple lessons to help you solve money problems so you can stop worrying and build a better future.
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Now, back to the topic at hand:
When you begin thinking about how to enjoy your money, you need to find smart ways to do it. Here are five principles that will move you in that direction.
1) Focus your spending.
Many people spend money on fun whenever they want. But if you do this, you’ll end up spending too much, and the fun things you’re doing will lose their thrill. Focus instead on occasional fun you know you’ll enjoy.
2) Maximize your returns.
Since you have limited money to spend on fun, focus that spending in areas where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. For example, cut your cable TV and subscribe to a streaming service instead. You won’t have as many viewing options, but you’ll get a lot more value out of each dollar.
3) Celebrate your achievements.
Freedom requires a lot of sacrifice, but it shouldn’t be joyless. Set aside some money to reward yourself for achieving key milestones on your journey. If you pay off a big debt, for example, go to dinner or a movie to celebrate. When your fun is a hard-earned reward, you’ll enjoy it more.
4) Guard your habits.
Many fun activities can also be destructive. When you have some money to spend on fun, steer clear of things that aren’t good for you. That could mean alcohol and cigarettes, junk food or mindless media. Your fun should be life-giving, not tempting.
5) Maintain your perspective.
When you and your family do things to enjoy your money, it should always be in service of a greater goal. Remember, you have a duty to accomplish, a dream to fulfill and a difference to make. So be sure you’re making progress on all those fronts before you spend money elsewhere.
If you follow these rules, your family can have consistent fun and make great memories. And best of all, you won’t compromise your financial freedom. As you grow in freedom, you’ll find yourself having even more fun.