On this journey of financial freedom and healthy eating, I’ve never once felt deprived. Feeling deprived is not a good thing…it’s not sustainable and it’s not healthy. It’s weird how these finance and food topics are so intermingled and related in so many ways. It’s not about wanting something but not allowing yourself to have it. Instead, when your mindset shifts and you have higher priorities, your desires change and you just don’t want certain things anymore.
For example, people offer me “treats” all the time…overly processed, overly sweetened junk food with 14x more ingredients than my homemade variety would have. When I say, “No, thank you”, I usually get asked something to the effect of, “What, are you on a diet or something?” No, I’m not on a temporary “diet”, I just simply don’t want the shit, but, thanks.
I’m nicer about it in real life.
It’s the same with money. “Do you want to go out for lunch?” “No, thank you, I brought my lunch.” I have zero desire to spend money on lunch when I have perfectly good food packed with me. Or going out shopping, or for a spa pedicure, etc. I just don’t have the desire. My toes are just as cute doing them at home.
There are exceptions, though, and it’s something I have been conscious of. I want to be sure we are thoroughly enjoying this journey. It should not be stressful, and sometimes we can let things go to the other extreme.
If, for whatever reason, you do find yourself at a fancy restaurant or a spa, or eating something you wouldn’t normally eat, ENJOY IT! It’s okay!! Don’t stress about it, because it’s counterproductive to everything. If you’re out celebrating a big birthday with a friend, and he/she just so happens to choose a restaurant for dinner that you’d never choose yourself because they charge an absurd amount of money for each a la carte item, don’t be the cheap bastard that’s not having a good time because you’re stressing about how much money it’s going to add to this month’s “Dining Out” expenses in your spreadsheet. Decide beforehand that you’re going to enjoy your friend’s birthday and don’t worry about it. You don’t have to go ordering all the most expensive items on the menu, but order something that maybe you’ve never eaten before and savor it. It’s not fun to be so uptight about every dollar spent that you can’t even enjoy a special night out. If you know you’re doing pretty darn good the other 98% of the year, it’s okay to live a little once in a while. Not that we’re not living a little in our day to day lives, but you get my point.
The same goes for food. There’s actually a thing called orthorexia. It’s a psychological condition in which you’re literally obsessed with eating foods you consider to be healthy and avoid foods you believe to be harmful (which is probably quite a bit). I don’t like my kids having candy with a bunch of sugar and artificial food coloring, but if they go to a birthday party, am I going to be the asshole mom who refuses to let them have some Starburst candies or a slice or store-bought birthday cake with their friends? Obviously not. Since I know I feed them nutrient-dense foods and healthy homemade treats the rest of the time, I’m okay with it.
So that’s what I’ve come to terms with on this journey…it’s okay to splurge! Whenever you’re in a situation that’s out of your comfort zone, don’t stress about it and learn to enjoy it. You’ll still retire early and the kids will live…they might just be a little extra hyper for a couple hours.