The Finance Castle Rotating Header Image

When is it OK to "Spend your way out?"

In the midst of an ongoing economic recession, you’ll often hear that the government has the ability to try and spend its way out of a crisis. The idea is that the government spends more than it has on hand in order to keep the economy going temporarily, a shot in the arm of money, as it were. From a personal perspective, you don’t have access to the cheap interest rates or deep pockets that say, the U.S. government has, and so spending your way out of a problem is usually the wrong way to go about finding a solution. Yet in my case, when I lay out all of the goals I want to accomplish, one thing becomes abundantly clear.

I’ll need to make more money.

This sentiment is often scoffed at in Personal Finance enthusiast circles. You don’t need to earn more, you need to spend less. You don’t want to inflate your lifestyle, you want to slim it down to the point that you are living below your means. But what if your goals come with a price tag? Travel, for example, has been a dreamy ideal of mine for some time. I want to get out on the road and see if my generally introverted, reserved self has what it takes to hack it. I want to challenge myself to meet new people, see new things, get out of my comfort zone, and ultimately come out with a fulfilling experience on the other side. The issue here, unfortunately, is that I also like having my modest home in a just-far-enough suburb of Philadelphia. I like having a home base to come back to. I’ve finagled my way into a mobile job that pays the bills and then some, but if I want to pay my mortgage and see the world, I’m going to have to up the Ante.

Plan of Attack

My journey into learning about investing and saving really took off when I found the idea of compartmentalizing. People often joke that they’re excited to get a paycheck, only to see it flitted off to various bills and accounts, leaving little left over. I, however, loved the whole process. As long as what’s coming in is more than enough to cover my own ideas and savings, I viewed my accounts like a book shelf. Some went into my cost of living, another portion made its way into the emergency fund, while a smaller amount got transferred into spending or travel, a new gadget, etc. Everything was accounted for, but when you start expanding out and building new shelves, the money quickly gets thinned out.

Spending my way out

I am, in a way then, spending my way out. I want to be able to travel on a more long term basis while keeping my home here to come back to. This means that I’ll need to keep buffering the emergency fund, shove some more money into travel fund, and keep extra around for the usual maintenance and repairs, not to mention our one car. Adding additional streams of income when your necessities are already covered opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. You can save more, you can buy more, you can do more. Money may not buy happiness, but it does provide a level of opportunity. What will you use it for?

homework live

Comments are closed.