Rationalization can be an expensive notion as I’ve come to realize over the weekend. I took a trip with my roommate to New Orleans. I’ve never been to New Orleans before. The Originals is one of my favorite tv shows and it’s setting is based on the French Quarter in New Orleans. Needless to say I was excited. Well, I did my budget after I got back and was shocked at how much money I spent. Shocked is actually the wrong word. I knew exactly what I was doing. I just rationalized spending my money.
You know what I’m talking about. That voice in your head that tells you that you deserve this. You’ve worked so hard for so long and you should enjoy life while you can. That’s what I’m talking about. Well, thanks to rationalization, I really treated myself this weekend. I ate expensive meals and paid money to a psychic to give me a tarot card reading. I almost paid money to another psychic who was dressed as a druid. The $240 I lost at the casino was disappointing and that did not include the $11.98 in ATM fees that I incurred from withdrawing cash I didn’t have. I probably shouldn’t mentioned that I had to transfer money from my savings account into my checking account just so I could lose it all playing Black Jack.
Then there were the bars. OMG! I’m embarrassed to say how much money I spent on alcohol. Plus, it doesn’t help that my roommate was not the voice of reason either. We totally overspent money this weekend and we knew it. However, we got a break. We went to the zoo, and I was going to cover the cost of entrance for both of us, but the power was temporarily out. So, we got in for free. Anyway, it was such an expensive weekend. I rationalized spending the entire way there and the only thing I have to show for it is a shirt and wiped-out savings account. In any case you care, my shirt has the following inscription on it, “I can see clearly now. Obviously I need another beer.” Yea, I was a tourist alright.
What’s sad and hilarious is that I actually budgeted for a trip to go to New Orleans. Unfortunately, I only saved $163 towards that goal, but wasn’t done saving yet. My goal was to spend about $600 on the trip, but I didn’t save that all that money before going. Well, I can’t change the past. I did have fun. Maybe I do deserve it. I just wish I hadn’t spent all that money. I even used my own logic against me. Sometime ago, I wrote a post on my conscious spending plan. The idea being that I can spend whatever money I want so long as the major saving items are taking care of. I do like and follow that theory because it sort eliminates the need to follow a strict budget. However, that approach directly competes the notion that every dollar counts.
How to spend money is always a balancing act. Different people will have their own opinions about what’s the best approach, etc. We can sometimes rationalize out way to making decisions, but at the end of the day, we have to live with the choices we made. I had a fun weekend. I had a very expensive weekend, but a fun weekend nonetheless. Thank you New Orleans.
I suppose I could do endless calculations about how much money I could have made had I simply invested that money in my dividend portfolio. But why torture myself? There’s no use crying over spilt milk. I just have to try to do better next time. Now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with treating yourself or even taking a mini vacation. I do think it’s important that one should appropriately budget for such expenditures so that you won’t have a bitter taste in your mouth the Monday after. My Conscious Spending Plan is all about guilt-free spending. Well, I have plenty of guilt. But, at least I can afford it. Darn, there I go rationalizing again.