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What is that voice inside my head that tells me to drive "5mph over" the speed limit? Why is it I can't wake up early without dragging on a Monday but on Saturday I'm a spring chicken at 6am? Why is it that even when you really WANT to fit into your skinny jeans you crave potato chips, French fries, and cake? Do you do these things too? These are the things that make me go "hmmm..."

 

It's the lure of the forbidden fruit, the challenge, the shiny new object. And who doesn't like shiny new objects? We're somewhat programmed this way from childhood and especially now with all of the advertisements on television. One of my favorite quotes I saw recently said "can we just ignore whatever comes after Blu-Ray? I don't want to start my collection over...again!" I couldn't agree more.

 

When it comes to budgeting though, this can present quite the challenge. Because what's the first thing you do when you start making a budget? List your expenses, add them up, and then start figuring out what to eliminate. I can bet that most of us don't spend money on things we don't want or need. I can also bet that many of us can find a lot to cut when it comes to "optional" expenses. Isn't that what the experts have taught us? Start cutting that morning coffee or pack your lunch instead of lunch out with friends.

 

What happens when you cut out every optional expense? The same thing that happens when you take my option to have "fries with that" off the table - all I want is fries. Feeling deprived can turn any goal into a defeat. All you can think about is what you can't have. Then that's all you want and there goes the budget.

 

So today, I give you permission. Just like any good bag of chips, crispy fry, decadent chocolate cake, 5mph over, or a late alarm clock - moderation is the key! So go ahead, budget, make your list of expenses, but don't get rid of all of the options. Sometimes options are good. They add enjoyment to life. That's why you work so hard for your money. In the end, you'll be much more likely to stick with a budget that allows you the little luxuries you do enjoy than one which leaves you feeling deprived.