I was browsing around looking at fellow financial blogger's sites when I found a very interesting article - Stop being obsessed about saving every penny by dollarVersity.
He has written very well explaining the dangers of becoming extremely frugal. Living frugally and counting every cent means you basically live a tough life today, hoping all the money you save will give you a better tomorrow. He warns that we will loose sight of when this tomorrow would come and will end up not enjoying life at all.
Personally I believe one should try to reduce any expenditure in his or her budget which is not a necessity. However i fully agree with dollarVersity's author as well! Living like that is extremely tough and mentally depressing as well.
My goal with budgeting and my desire to save money is driven not by a distant dream of being able to live a happy retirement when I am 55 years old. Luckily I don't have too many debts which force me down this path as well. Nor do I plan to leave a legacy behind for my future generations :) . Simple and plain - In another 5 to 10 years from now, I want to be in a position where I can reduce the stress in my life around the questions - Is my job recession proof? What will happen if I loose my job?
I basically want to reduce the stress around my dependency on my salary income and job. I should be able to relax thinking I can survive till i find another job. My family would not suffer till then. We can meet our needs in other ways we developed over the past by saving when we could.
I believe if I am able to cut down this stress in my life, I will have a much more relaxed tomorrow. Also I have a definite tomorrow in mind. My tomorrow is not a far far away tomorrow!! Always keep tangible goals when you want to achieve anything. Keep both long term goals as well as short goals.
In this quest, I know that its important for me to do multiple things. Save to create emergency funds. Save to create investments. Invest what I can such that i get decent returns. Develop alternate skills. Improve my work skills. Develop passive income sources. etc, etc. In this quest, I do tend to be frugal today. I do make sacrifices where possible to achieve these goals.
But everyone needs to remember one thing - the journey is just as important as the goal. You are talking of precious 10 years of your life that you wont get back. You will succeed in saving only when your mind is happy and excited to do it. Your mind requires a few perks once in a while to feel that happiness. So always budget for a little fun and happiness every month.
CAUTION: Never go overboard. Never splurge such that it will wipe out all the good work you did in the past few months.
However do allocate some money in your monthly budget to a category that will give you entertainment and happiness. Make sure your near and dear ones enjoy this category as well. This will make them happy and willing partners in your endeavor to save and secure a safe future! Hope this advise helps you.