Have you heard of intentional spending before? It’s something I first wrote about back in 2016 but it’s been on my mind quite a bit lately so I thought it would be a good time to have a chat…
Basically, intentional spending (to me anyway) is about consciously thinking about what I choose to spend our disposable income on and allowing myself to spend money on the things that make me feel happy. I might spend money on things that you think are a waste of money or are ‘frivolous’ purchases but I save money somewhere else in my budget to allow me to be able to spend on the things I want to spend on.
I genuinely believe that life’s too short in my opinion not to do the things you love but our budget hasn’t always been able to support this ethos so we’ve had to make adjustments to what we do spend our money on so we have money available to do the things we want to do.
In the past, when I was talking about intentional spending, I always used to share the example of when the kids were little and we planning a house move. I had my heart set on a lovely house that would have been the perfect family home and was convinced it would be the home where I wanted the kids to grow up living but then we found out my Mam was really poorly so we put everything on hold.
A couple of months after she passed away, we started to think about it again and looked again at the dream house which I still loved just as much. My whole outlook on life had changed by that time though and I wanted to have more money each month to be able to have as much fun as possible with the kids so I changed my dream.
My dream house was no longer the perfect house that we’d seen and loved but it was a house that wasn’t at the top of our budget, one that would mean lower mortgage payments each month to free up money to have fun. We bought a smaller house that was about 20% cheaper than the one we were planning on buying and that extra money every month allowed us to do things we never would have been able to afford otherwise.
That’s the biggest example that I’ve always had about what intentional spending means to me in my life but it’s not about that for me anymore really as I’m in a different place these days. These days, I earn more money and have less to pay each month so it’s all about the little stuff to me. So where you’ll see me meal planning, sharing moneysaving ideas and generally talking about living frugally – that’s because I really do try and save money to pay for the pleasures I enjoy – My nails for example…
I have a regular appointment for my nails and my eyebrows which is neither frugal or necessary but I enjoy my appointments and love the results. It makes me feel happier in myself which may make me a bad person but I can live with that as I’m a happy bad person with nice nails and fab eyebrows.
I buy fresh flowers, I travel as much as I can (obviously not at the moment) and I love a nice handbag. I also shop an M&S sometimes for my food shopping even though there’s an Aldi right next door because I love some of their food.
I could absolutely do without the nails, the travel and the flowers (not sure about the handbags 😂 ) but I don’t want to and I don’t need to because I save money in other areas of my life on things and work as hard as I need to so that I can afford the things that make me happy.
That’s intentional spending to me!
You might not agree and that’s absolutely OK but I think most of us practise intentional spending to some degree. I’ll make you a deal – I won’t judge your money habits if you don’t judge mine. 🤝
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