Music Mondays – Don’t Stop the Party

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Don’t Stop the Party

I have had a number of new client meetings the last few weeks, and every time I tell a client they have to adjust their expenses, I get these responses:

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Every single client looks at me as though I showed up to the party and took the punch bowl away, and what they don’t realize, is that I am not taking the punch bowl away, I’m just swapping out the punch.

Misconceptions on Frugality

I think a big misconception for people as they shift from spending mindlessly to a more frugal and fiscally responsible approach is that the fun as they know it will end. They really do believe that the party is going to stop, and who wants the party to stop when you are having fun?

I understand this apprehension in my clients because I was exactly the same way. I didn’t want anyone to tell me I couldn’t do something, especially if I had the money to do it. However, after years of adjusting my own mindset, what I realized is that I did have to stop one party so that I could start another one. I realize that I wasted too much time focused on the immediate party, that I didn’t think about the bigger and better party that I could have down the road.

Stop the Present Party for the Future Party

It’s hard to think about the future party, especially when it’s years away, but that’s exactly what we need to do. For me, my future party involves declaring financial freedom when my son graduates college. My future party involves a lifestyle filled with travel and location independence rather than working the grind of a job that holds me in one location; and my future party involves me choosing to work rather than having to work.

In order for me to attend my future party sooner than later, I have to miss some parties in the present. I have to say, though, that since I have skipped some present parties, I realize that my life is not less fun, it’s just a different kind of fun; and this is what I try to get my clients to understand.

It’s difficult for many of my clients at the beginning of their journeys to see that the party has not completely stopped, especially as they start to make choices they never did before like staying in and cooking dinner rather than going out with friends. However, my clients who have been on the journey for a few months and even years, realize that their future party looks even better than the parties they missed.

As their debt loads diminish and their bank accounts grow, they start to see the possibility of a party they didn’t think they could ever achieve, for some it’s home ownership, for others it’s the flexibility to change jobs, and this motivates them to stay on their fiscally responsible paths.

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On Friday’s podcast, I am going to chat about a number of ways to have fun while staying financially responsible, but the best way to accept the present changes is to focus on the future fun. The more definition and clarity you can bring to your future party, the easier it will be for you to say no to present day parties.

No one loves a party more than me, so I guarantee you that if I can change the way I party, anyone can. It starts with prioritizing your future over your present and just changing the way you have fun rather than ending the fun completely.

Gif Source: giphy

How do you party on a budget? What do you do that’s fun and frugal?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

13 COMMENTS

  1. All about the short-term sacrifice for the long term gain. While we were paying off debt, we had to change our behavior, and find other things often free things to do. There are plenty. I’m still amazed at the movies, music, and classes offered at our library all for free.

  2. At this point in time I’m so incredibly thankful for the beach. It’s my biggest source of fun, relaxation, being social, and exercising at this point, and it’s completely free AND healthy. I admit there are a lot of fun things I sacrifice socially, but I’m so glad I at least have that!

  3. I was just thinking about this topic because I’ve had multiple people express to me that while they want to pay off their debts, they are very nervous that they’ll have to give up their fun. You are right on when you say it’s just a different kind of fun. Gotta be a little more creative. In my family, we do lot’s of free stuff like walking downtown, going to the beach, and taking advantage of reciprocal museum memberships.

  4. Excellent quote, Shannon: “As their debt loads diminish and their bank accounts grow, they start to see the possibility of a party they didn’t think they could ever achieve.” With each ‘good’ financial move we make, I feel better about sacrificing the ‘current party’ for the future one. I do think focusing on things like side hustles or advanced degrees seriously hurts your social life and ability to relax and have fun, though, so it’s a balancing act. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Friday.

  5. I think you need to win an award for use of GIFs in this post. Brilliant! Haha so funny. I think of the same thing. I learn how to have fun in a different way now, so I can travel and work from anywhere later.

  6. I agree wholeheartedly, Shannon. So many people fear that getting their finances under control means the end of fun. It’s not. In my mind, it’s actually the beginning of fun because of how differently you look at money. A lot of people just spend without really thinking about whether what they are buying or spending their money things that brings them happiness. Learning to be purposeful with your money actually helps you have “real” fun, even if there is a period where your main focus is course correction.

  7. Great advice, Shannon! I think this is particularly hard for really young people or for people who are older and very wealthy – neither group likes to take money advice in my experience! I think it’s great advice (and something that I’ve improved on myself over the last few years).

  8. I imagine my expression I gave to my finance adviser. It was like the worst expression I probably did because I was afraid of change and thought changing the way I handled my money crowded my mind. yay! Glad that I followed his advice and now on my way to debt-free life.

  9. My husband had that outlook when we first got together. That you couldn’t have fun without spending money. I introduced him to free movie passes, board game nights with friends and so on. We do less of both down here in Arizona — since the theaters that show free movies tend to be 25 miles away and we haven’t been great about socializing down here — but we still live a pretty frugal life entertainment-wise. And he still gets the stuff he really wants, either out of his fun money or as birthday/holiday gifts. All in all, he’s settled in pretty well.

  10. Seriously, I’m all about stopping the party now to party harder later. If you can just get yourself to ease back a bit, maybe for just a year or so, you can party even harder (and larger) for the rest of your life…without ever having to worry about money again! It is hard to believe, but so many people have done it!

  11. I always enjoy hosting parties and it can be quite expensive. However, we recently started hosting summer dinner parties where everyone brings a dish, therefore it is totally affordable and I don’t have to spend countless hours in my kitchen either. As far as kids, I am huge advocate of outside fun, so parks and road trips are our favorite ones. And no need to drive somewhere far. Besides, for a while I have the mindset that if I want to afford something more expensive, I just make this extra money, therefore it doesn’t feel like an extra expense.

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