I've decided to give myself a little bit of a break and go slightly "off program". No, I'm not getting a credit card or any thing crazy like that. I just decided we really shouldn't be so hard on ourselves. Tim and I have both been feeling guilty about our hobbies. He really wants to play golf and I just started a cake decorating class, but it's hard for us to spend money on these things.
I started thinking about how ridiculous that was considering all we've done and how far we've come. Here we are, debt free with a fully funded emergency fund and I'm still being incredibly regimented and strict. I talked in a previous post about how we have established a percentage based formula for irregular income. Normally I would include apply this to any source of income. While that has been great at keeping us on track and moving in the right direction, I've decided NOT to do that with our tax return.
Now, I'm not talking about thousands of dollars. If you get that much back, I hope you are looking at adjusting your with holdings. We really try to minimize our return, but it's hard with my business. This year we got a return from Federal, but had to pay the State. The net difference was a few hundred dollars.
I have decided not to our tax return as irregular income this year, but look at our current situation and priorities instead. I set aside enough to pay my term life insurance for a year (which should be approved and due soon), put some towards an extra house payment, and then decided Tim and I deserved some "blow fund" money for our hobbies. I think it's important to reward ourselves with guilt-free things every once in a while. I wouldn't suggest this to some one who was being truly gazelle intense, but I have to remind myself that we can occasionally apply the second half of the "Live like no one else" equation. While we were on Baby Step #2 we put at least 75% of any return towards debt (even more toward the end) and used the rest for sinking funds and items we needed around the house.
It's kind of funny that I think giving us each a $50 blow fund as a big splurge! In reality, we don't usually have much we want. Over the past couple years we've truly become content with a more simple life. I'm so glad we don't feel the need to keep up with the Jones's. We don't need the latest and greatest gadgets, don't even want fancy furniture (since we have young kids at home), and think the best form of entertainment is time with the family. It will be nice, though, to enjoy some outside activities.