I looked at my bills this month and smiled. SMILED. Because for the first time in about 10 years, I'm feeling a little financially flush. I worked hard and paid off my car a year early. I carry no credit card debt. The new bedroom set I bought when I moved in with Abraham is now paid off. And the wedding has passed, which feels like the biggest cha-ching.
So what now?
The first thing I did was check my savings and retirement contributions and made sure I was contributing 10% of my income to each. My savings did take a hit during the last year, so I'd like to replace the funds in that account. I never let my retirement slack, so I'm in good shape there. I also called my stockbroker and invested about $4,000 of an old inheritance. We lived the good life on our honeymoon, and I'm anxious to ditch working for a living and feast in Mexico, ASAP.
I also bought all of the things. The honeymoon was the final nail in the coffin for my beautiful 10-year-old luggage, so I spent $300 on new ones: dazzling bags on wheels in pinks and purples. I managed to get through last summer with three pairs of shoes, including one pair of flip-flops, so I rewarded myself by doubling the amount of summer shoes: Leather-strapped Born's and crocheted Toms' and work flats from Loft. Throw in two new dresses from Forever 21 because I just can't quit it.
I like shopping, I feel good when I shop, but I don't want to be burdened with material objects. I don't want to work to maintain my possessions. I think I'm at the point where I would like a few high quality items instead a bunch of little things. I am a professional of the little things though, and Amazon and Forever 21 know it.
I think the answer to my dilemma is to increase my savings contributions: maybe aim for 15 - 25% instead of 10%. Maybe maximize my Roth to the limit of $5,500. Start a house-repair fund, a child fund, a vacation fund, a something fund.
But I'm worried because I am so good at shopping, and I know what fun it is. I'm giddy when I open a box of sock yarns that I purchased and I fondle the soft skeins in brilliant colors. To me, that is a high.
I'm at such a rare point in my life, and I don't want to squander the opportunity. How do you balance a Pinterest life with a sound life that is financially secure? And if I do save 30% of my income, can I spend the remaining 70% on yarn and dresses?