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Buying time: Why spending money is more emotional than you think

We can all agree that the actual art of spending money is quite enjoyable.
Whether you're treating yourself to a fine dining experience, shopping until you literally drop or just can't drive past that car lot without actually stopping and leaving with a new vehicle, spending money is something that often goes above and beyond the tangible aspects of taking money and giving it to someone else in exchange for goods or services.
Spending money soothes all of our woes, except ironically the ones that center on our budget or finances. After a bad day at work, the one where the boss just seems to be picking on you or you can't do anything right, leaving the office for the evening and treating yourself to a massage you can't afford, a new outfit that depletes your checking account or that dinner that should have been more fast food than fresh lobster, just makes you feel so much better.
That is until the check comes or you check your bank account balance.
Aside from work pushing you more in the direction of the mall then back home to have a modest dinner and even more demure evening, plenty of other situations arise in our day to day routine that leave us longing to spend money just so that we feel a little better as a result.

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How about that new promotion at work? Let's say you've finally reached your professional goals, dreams and aspirations, and you're actually earning more than just a respectable paycheck. Your first inclination is to start jotting down the list of items you've always wanted but could never afford.
Hot tub. Check.
New car. Check.
Furniture for the whole house. Check.
All of those things sound absolutely amazing, but you've got to temper that temptation to spend first and ask questions later, for a number of reasons. Keep in mind that you're new to the job, and you really shouldn't start going for broke before you hit your first fresh payday. What if the job doesn't work out, or you don't like it at all? Maybe you'll be allowed to go back to your original position, but good luck trying to give back that already used hot tub or trading in that new Cadillac after only driving it for a few hundred miles.
If the job ultimately doesn't pan out, you're still left with credit card bills, debt and car payment that you no longer can afford. The same logic applies to your much anticipated tax refund, the one you've been waiting for while you're highlighting and pointing out everything on Amazon you have wanted since you filed in January.
Your better bet when it comes to spending is to adopt the age old adage of moderation first and frivolousness sporadically and modestly at best. That allows you to truly save for that proverbial rainy day, and have at least a little cash on hand should the situation call for it.

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