This guest post was written by Go Banking Rates, bringing you informative personal finance content and helpful tools, as well as the best interest rates on financial services nationwide. Follow them on Twitter at @GoBankingRates and on Facebook at /GoBRates.
Photo by jnewland
We’ve all heard variations of the saying before: “money doesn’t make you happy.” That could be true, but money does make you comfortable. The pleasures of financial stability, steady income and a packed checking account versus the stresses of debt, bad credit and financial pressure are vastly different. We can only avoid such a predicament if we’re smart with our finances, make good decisions and budget appropriately.
When it comes to financial follies, is there a time when they’re acceptable? When is the panic tolerable? When you’re shaking under the discomfort of debt, is it sometimes worth it? We believe there are two such occasions when over-spending is justified.
#1: I Now Pronounce You Broke?
How about a wedding? Weddings can typically cost tens of thousands of dollars. Traditionally, the bride’s father foots the bill, but that’s not always the case.
So let’s say you and your fiancé are preparing for the big day. It is supposed to be a once in a lifetime occasion and chances are the bride hasn’t been dreaming about a chapel on the Vegas strip or tying the knot in a courthouse.
Let’s look at a short list of expenditures: You’ve got the “save the dates,” invitations, wedding dress, tux, rehearsal dinner, cake, church, reception hall, decorations, flowers, limo, music, the catering and the drinks… Oh, and thank you notes. Nice ones.
It seems something like a wedding could result in some debt. So, do you go for a full sit-down dinner and an open bar or hors d’oeuvres and cash bar?
Then, of course, the wedding is followed by a honeymoon.
Justification: You can’t put a price on love! You might as well go big for the wedding because who wants a rocky start? Plus, as newlyweds, you’ll hopefully be spending the next few months only wanting to spend time with each other, anyway. Staying in will give you an opportunity to save some money and pay off the credit card bills.
#2: The Unforgettable Experience
No matter how much cash you put down, you can’t buy life experiences. Memorable times don’t necessarily have to be expensive, but getting to the destination where memories are formed can be a potential threat to the bank account. If you can genuinely fill in the blank to the following statement, it’s simply too important to skip:
“If I miss ______, I’ll never forgive myself.”
Depending on the stage of life you may be in, the answer can vary across the board from as trivial as your favorite team’s championship game to the far away funeral of a loved one. Can you think of an event that has taken place in your life that you can’t imagine not having been there for? The ones your friends and family refer to constantly? The ones that frequently cross your mind? More memorable moments will happen again. It’s up to you to prioritize, but sometimes life’s events are too important to fret over the finances.
Justification: You truly can’t buy back time. One great experience can be satisfaction enough to stay in and save up for the next one. If you don’t involve yourself, you’ll be missing out on a lot more than your extra cash.
Should You Go for It?
Go Banking Rates is not recommending you default on your credit cards by buying extravagant luxuries. Just ask yourself if it’s something that ultimately will have more of an impact on your life than your bank account. If you know your cash flow will recover, go for it if you’ll never get that opportunity again.
Palm trees photo (view from the hammock) by jnewland