I found out about this habit some people have to celebrate their financial milestones and it made me think about it some more.
What milestones could we talk about? Paying off your credit cards, becoming debt free, getting your emergency fund to a certain point, having a certain amount of money saved towards retirement etc.
It also reminded me of the people who go through a diet and then, after it’s done, they celebrate with a pizza or a burger, so maybe this is the reason I personally don’t find the need to celebrate anything.
The milestones I could think about …
… in my case they are not too many (or maybe I don’t count some that would be important to others) .. when I paid off my car and became debt free, when I secured a certain monthly income, when I saved some money ..
I never cared too much about these details though. When I paid off my car I was busy enough making all the paperwork go through as fast as possible, so that we can leave the country in few weeks (as planned months ago). I just went to the bank, got my papers and promised myself never to deal with them again. We didn’t go out, we didn’t open a bottle of wine, I just prepared my next steps and enjoyed my new debt free life.
I don’t believe in ‘diets’, I believe in a lifestyle
We all make changes in the ways we handle our money and these changes allow us to save more, pay off debt, be successful investors etc. Just as with weight loss, I don’t think diets are the answer, meaning you put your life and happiness on hold and then can’t wait to get back to the way it was.
If you want to have a healthier lifestyle, you don’t diet for 4 weeks and then hit the fast-food restaurants as soon as it’s all over. You change the way you see food. Sure, you can still eat the occasional burger, but you need to make sure you do have a good diet and work out.
That’s exactly what happens with our lifestyle, when it comes to money: we don’t spend it recklessly and we save. Even if we don’t go and splurge on everything that could attract us, we are happy and enjoy a really fulfilling life. It’s the same with our nutrition (we do eat healthy) and working out. As soon as you find a good balanced style, you should be able to keep it for a long time and without any efforts.
Since I don’t celebrate every time I do a lap during my swimming class or eat some veggies, there’s really no use for me to celebrate the fact I saved 100 more bucks.
Another thing that doesn’t make me want to go nuts about a milestone is the fact that celebrating would probably mean spending money I don’t need to: eating out, gifting myself or my husband etc. I believe in buying what you need, going out to eat from time to time, if you feel like it, not just to celebrating saving money while spending the money you don’t need.
Sure, for other people this is a great way to feel motivated to go further. I find motivation in my goals and reaching them makes me happy and even more focused. For others these small celebrations are the ‘boost’ they need to reach their next goal.
How does this work for you? Do you celebrate financial milestones? Which ones? How do you celebrate?