Yet another Friday has come. Enjoy today's staff post by Jordann.
Well Christmas is officially behind us! I received some great presents this year but one of the things I'm most excited about receiving was a bit of Christmas cash from my Mother.
I love Christmas cash, whether in the form of gift cards, mall money, or plain paper money. I love it because it's flexible and allows me to buy something I've really been wanting, something I could really use, or something that the gift giver might not have been able to come up with.
I only have one problem with Christmas cash, and that's my temptation to do something responsible with it. With any extra cash, I'm tempted to throw it towards my almost $20,000 of debt.
I know that every dollar toward my debt counts, and it's these little wind fall cash finds the really makes the difference between a debt free date that's a few years or a few months down the road.
So, as much as I'd like to spend my Christmas cash on something awesome, I have this little niggling voice in the back of my head saying “You should really put that towards debt!”
This is one instance, however, when I'm not going to spend this found money on debt. Yes, windfall money is a great tool to eradicate debt early and it should be used as much as possible, but Christmas money is intended as a gift, and should be treated as such.
Christmas cash, whether in the form of a gift card, or plain cash, is a great opportunity to reward yourself for a year of hard work at debt repayment, savings or whatever your current financial goal is.
Rewarding Yourself Is Important
Debt repayment can get exhausting, there have been a ton of times during this past year when I've wanted to throw my hands up and give up my aggressive repayment plan. I've been tempted to blow a whole month's extra debt payments on furniture for my house, or a new computer. Somehow though, I've kept at this crazy plan of mine, and I've managed to stay on track and pay off almost $17,000 worth of debt this year.
For that, I think that I deserve to be rewarded, and spending my Christmas cash is the perfect way to reward myself. By taking advantage of this Christmas gift, I can spoil myself just enough to keep up my enthusiasm for my debt repayment schedule in the new year, and hopefully eradicate the rest of my student loan debt.
Even though I've decided to spend my Christmas money on myself and not on debt, I'm still tempted to spend it on something responsible. Like paint for my bedroom. Or getting my car professionally cleaned. This is another one of my problems, I manage to take something exciting and full of possibilities, like free money, and turn it into something boring and not remotely rewarding.
So, this year I’m purposefully trying to find something truly fun to spend my Christmas money on. I might even try some music or acting lessons. I haven’t come to a decision yet, but whatever I decide to buy, I’m going to make sure I get maximum enjoyment out of it.
Spend the Money…Within Reason
Now, I'm an advocate for spending your Christmas money, but there's a limit to everything. If I were to somehow get $1000 for Christmas, I would absolutely allocate some of it towards debt repayment. Not all of it, mind you, but definitely a good portion of it. However, since my Christmas cash gift is closer to $100, I'm not going to worry about debt repayment this time around.
Sticking to your financial plan is important, and taking advantage of windfall cash is a key component to achieving goals ahead of schedule. However, once in awhile, treating yourself is even more important. After all, life is about the little pleasures, and while long term goals are essential to achieving what you want out of life, remaining sane long enough to enjoy those goals requires a bit of indulgence.
What do you do with extra cash?
Would you use it for bills/expenses or buy something that you'll enjoy?
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