When’s the last time you read a personal finance blog that told you to go nuts with your money? Buckle up, because I’m just about to… but not in the way that you’re hoping for.
This concept was introduced to me by a friend of mine that likes to live it up on weekends. He takes trips, eats out constantly and generally appears to be loose with his cash. I asked him about it, and he told me that his finances go in two different extremes: He’s either very loose or very tight, and plans them both accordingly.
I guess it’s hard for me to notice the times he’s NOT out spending his cash like an episode of Entourage. He’s actually got a smart, automated savings plan; has paid off his student loans and credit card debt; and is actively thinking about his money (even when he’s out on the town).
I took a good lesson from this and one of his personal techniques: A Savings Bender.
Instead of going out and looking to spend a lot in a short time, he looks to save as much as he can in a short time. As soon as a paycheque comes in, he puts extra cash into his savings, immediately pays off his credit card bill and socks a bit away in his ‘fun’ account. Following that, he’ll drop off the social radar and do free (but fun) activities. He eats in, checks out free exhibits, and generally takes advantage of the city’s free amenities.
Obviously that kind of extreme living isn’t sustainable, but it’s interesting to see the OVERLY responsible side of money binges.
During my last paycheque, I tried it out. It was a wild experience, but totally gratifying. I was able to get some extra cash into my summer trip fund and take my holiday credit card bill down to $0. I wasn’t left with much cash to play around with… but that’s the point. And instead of getting further in debt, I was out of it and ready for a new week.
Let us know what you think, and if a savings bender works for you!