One thing that I've noticed is popular to do is to complain when you spend an unusually large sum of money on something that's not a vacation. In fact, even I'm guilty of this.
I think complaining about spending money is a perfectly valid use of your time if the Mafia is holding you up, or if you've had an unusually bad string of luck for an extended period of time. But as a good rule of thumb, unless one of the previous situations apply to you, complaining about spending money is annoying to others and pretty unhelpful to yourself too.
Outside of complaining about spending money on things I have consumed or will be consuming, I can basically choose to pay for these goods and services or not. Since I'm not a pirate, I will pay for the goods and services.
Here's my three step procedure to not complaining about having to pay for stuff that I have chosen to consume.
1. Accept that some things I consume regularly are expensive
If you are an adult, you know something important. Some things that you like to consume are expensive. Not only are the start up costs expensive, but the ongoing taxes, maintenance, and what not all add up to.
Good news about all this, I can choose to not consume those things. It's not like I'm being held up by the Mafia being forced to buy nectarines and Up & Up brand diapers, and a used Toyota. Nor is my babysitter refusing to release my son unless I pay her more money (in fact, she has been known to forget to cash the checks I do give her). And nobody forces me onto Zillow to look for yet another property to buy and maintain.
Some people like to argue that the government is holding me hostage (taxes, insurance and the like), but I recently heard a second hand story about a man who lived off the grid for close to 60 years. He and his wife (pregnant at the time) went to the remotest part of Canada because they were running away from the communists in East Germany. Other than an occasional trip to work or buy in a town accessible by canoe, this man spent the majority of his adulthood doing his own thing in the woods. He even built a prop plane. I'm not kidding either, I saw the pictures. I guess they were like an extreme version of the Frugalwoods Anyhow, I like society, so I'll stay on the grid.
Accepting that I'm choosing to spend money is sometimes difficult, so I've developed a mantra that helps me with it, "I like to consume expensive goods and services.."
2. Save up some money
Choosing to consume something expensive, and not having the money to pay for it is a pretty stressful situation that usually leads to debt something that I definitely don't favor. Debt seems to make people feel like they are no longer in control which explains why people complain about it so much.
I can only think of one solution to this situation which is multiple savings accounts. Every big expensive thing you own (and particularly the ones that are somewhat unpredictable in nature) needs a savings account. And every single month that you do your zero based budget, put money in those accounts, and don't spend it unless you are spending it on the designated big expensive thing.
If you keep all your cash in a single checking account, you're pretty much guaranteeing that some "hot" investment (or so called investment like a luxury vehicle) will suddenly be calling your name. Unless you're lucky, high income, and a low expenses kind of person, you're going to need to save money before consuming expensive goods and services, so set up system for success, and if you're lucky, the system will work it's magic in due course (if you're unlucky, you didn't stumble upon this post soon enough, but good news, you'll be luckier next time around).
I've also developed a mantra that helps me with this. It goes a little something like this, "I like to consume expensive good and services, so I saved some money." You may have noticed that this phrase actually builds off the first phrase.
3. Buy the thing and don't complain
Great, now you have some money saved! You can buy the thing you saved the money for!
If you had some arbitrary net worth goal to hit, or some low expenses to record, you probably should not have saved for the item in the first place. Instead, you should invest that money, and McGuyver a solution to your problem.
Otherwise, go buy the good or service and enjoy it! No need to complain that your numbers on a screen are different than last month or next month. You've exchanged your money for a real good or service, that's a good exchange. Especially if you've been studying fiscal policies lately.
If the arbitrary change in numbers is still leaving you a little sore, and the change of numbers is causing you to consider complaining, try this mantra: "I like to consume expensive goods and services, so I saved some money, and then I spent it on the expensive good or service. And now I'm going to enjoy it, Dammit!"
If you can save up your money and spend it on an expensive good or service that you enjoy, you're doing really well! Please don't ruin your enjoyment (and everyone else's) by having a pity party that involves investing less money than you hoped.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.