There has been some talk recently of the psychological benefits of owning different kinds of stuff. Most of what I've seen focuses on wealthy people buying wealthy people stuff like classic cars and the New Jersey Nets. Social commentator and trend guru Malcolm Gladwell recently argued
that there is a rationality behind spending
money on things that make little or no economic sense. They bring us happiness and fulfillment even as they depreciate or bleed cash.
This got me thinking about the psychological benefits of spending money on one's self from time to time. For those of us not buying mint condition Porsche's or terrible basketball teams, the bulk of the bi-weekly pay check is spent before it's direct-deposited into our account. After paying the mortgage, contributing to RRSP's, and buying kid's cough medicine, it's possible -- maybe even common -- for many people to forget to splurge or think of themselves. But it's crucial for our well-being -- indeed, our psyche -- to pay a bit back to ourselves from time to time. I'm not suggesting you go crazy but do live a little once in awhile, it might make you feel like a new model of your former shell. Here are some frugal ways to spoil yourself:
Studies have shown there are significant benefits associated with going out. For parents of young children, the financial focus is often to make ends meet, save for university, and figure out how to pay for this year's vacation
. Is there a line left in that family budget
for catching up with friends? Having grown-up fun? Although there can be many definitions of the latter, the point is this need not be expensive. Meet up for tea once a week with someone who makes you laugh. You need something social to look forward to that doesn't involve your kids - as much as I'm sure you love the perfect little monsters.