I don’t do well with self-restraint. I pretend to do well with moderation, but that’s questionable at best. Jars of Nutella are just too tempting. This time of year, as resolutions stack up to quickly get blown away, I often feel guilty from my indulgence–a self-induced guilt that is hard to shake. I am my own worst critic.
But also on a regular basis, I find myself comparing financial budgets and dieting and thinking of how similar they are. You budget your calories to treat yourself later, just as you would with money. But budgeting is not one of my fortés by any stretch of the imagination. My plight more often than not becomes trying to figure out which experiences will ultimately end up being worth the red line in my bank account or the sugar high. (Unless you’re Gwyneth Paltrow–I can’t resist sharing this article Lu sent me. The author and I have similar ideas on cleanses.)
But I digress. I was talking with one of my friends the other day who said he had told his mom that he was thinking of moving to London someday. Not a concrete plan by any means, just something he had been thinking about. He said she told him it wouldn’t be worth the loss financially and he would be better off staying here, going to grad school and finding a well-paying job. (The safe option until you realize even people with masters don’t have jobs.)
It’s hard not to see her reasoning behind this. Who doesn’t want financial security and a résumé that would have employers begging to have you (does that even happen anymore?? idk)? But his response was a good one: the fun and fulfilling things in life don’t always make financial sense; you have to balance out the making sense part and the making life worthwhile part. Maybe this takes form in spending just too much on that one delicious meal, or maybe it arrives as an irresponsible, “Frances Ha“-esque trip to Europe. We’ll see.
This morning, I watched a talk on Creative Mornings with Bri Emery, the crazy talented lady behind designlovefest. One of the biggest takeaways from the talk, for me at least, was that some of the best decisions are also some of the scariest. So this is the year I resolve to (or maybe not, but I will try) stop doing things just because I think I have to. There should always be room in any budget, be it food or money or time, to treat yo self and do what makes you happy.