Man, I've seen enough of your posts to know your savings are probably in general in the right direction. I don't care if you ended up saving $0.00 for the month, $200 to have some really good experiences with the most important women in each of your lives is worth than money alone. Hehe.. yeah, it really wasn't the spending that bothered me so much as the feeling that I'd mentally undone some real progress. It took a long time to adjust my attitude and now I'm struggling to climb the same hill.
I love my mom, $200 ain't shit man. Don't feel bad. No face punch from me.
I'm one of those people that this stuff doesn't come naturally to. I'll be OK though. I still put $5K into the market this month and paid off $1K+ in debt... lmao
Zephyr's circling a very important point that I don't think has been explicitly stated in this thread:
Badassity cures spendypants syndrome!
You think Mr. and Mrs. MMM tell their mothers-in-law "Sorry, no-can-do, no birthday party for you-who-carried-me-for-9-months"
Oh hell no.
What they do is:
1) Prep ahead of time - knowing Pete, he plans next year's birthday celebration WHILE HE'S AT the current one. Then find frugal ways to make things happen.
2) Increase Badassity. Car making a squealing whine? Replace that idler pulley yourself. Bike got a flat? Fix it yourself. Out of peanut butter? Get it from Aldi. Buy crucial goods on super-sale and stock up.
Zephyr hinted at this himself. While he "stumbled" in one way, he then jacked up the Badassity in another way. I do this all the time. I had TWO birthdays I had to pay for in October. I went ahead, bit the bullet and it cost me $300. Wife was extremely happy. Son was extremely happy. Joy Joy Joy.
Outside I was smiling. Inside, I was gritting my teeth and vowing revenge on my transgression. I was able to secure MANY TIMES RETURN by:
1) Getting DW (birthday girl) to up her 401k withdrawals while she was in her receptive state of mind after the party. :-)
2) Side gig will get me the basic $300 back by year's-end.
3) More Goodwill donations for the tax break.
With apologies to Dune:
"I will not spend.
Spend is the stash-killer.
Spend is the little-death that obliterates FIRE.
I will face my spend.
I will permit spend to pass over my budget and through my budget.
And when it has gone past I will turn the holy spreadsheet to list its path.
Where the spend has gone there will be badassity. My budget will remain."