A few years ago, we had these friends who were opinionated about every single thing we chose to spend our money on. They wanted to know how much things cost, and were really nosy and competitive about finances. In their defense, Nathan was still a priest at the time, and for whatever reason, many people (not just this particular couple) could not mentally separate church finances from our personal finances, despite the fact that the majority of our income came from side-jobs.

Anyway, this couple was the most opinionated about us ordering pizza. It was such a weird obsession. They saw it as so frivolous and expensive, and made a huge deal about it every single time. Unfortunately, they lived across the street, so they could see us any time we had it, and they made sure to bring it up. It just so happens that Nathan really, really likes pizza, and so we ordered it pretty regularly. I’ll admit, he might have a bit of a pizza addiction…

It got to the point where we wondered if it really was just super financially irresponsible and outrageous to enjoy eating out. We went back and forth about it. We were saving money by getting it carry-out and not paying a delivery fee, so it wasn’t that bad, right? It was such a treat to feed our family something easily vegetarian friendly (with actual veggies!) without cooking or washing dishes. But was it a big deal?* Were we setting a bad example for our children? Were we wasting our money away like irresponsible college students?

Maybe.

Maybe splurging on pizza is not the best use of our resources. Since we could easily make dinner for our family on significantly less money, maybe we should change our ways.

Well, maybe not. 

It’s okay that our family enjoys eating pizza on the weekends. It’s okay that we have something we buy that is just for fun, and not necessity. It really is okay to just have fun sometimes.

Becoming financially secure, paying off debt, and living minimally are all important and wonderful concepts, but not at the expense of your happiness. These things should make your life better and more enjoyable, not become such a burden that you feel like ordering pizza is a travesty.

Find little things that make you happy and splurge sometimes. It is not important enough that every penny is being used toward a future goal, whether for something practical or something extravagant that you neglect yourself and your immediate happiness. You are alive right here and now and this moment matters too. Don’t forget that the ultimate goal is to be debt free so you can enjoy life more, take more vacations, relax, plan for retirement, play with your kids, work less. The goal is for a healthy and happy life. Which, for us, includes pizza… and my Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses. I wonder what they would say about that if we still talked to them…

*I acknowledge that pizza is a junk food, and therefore, probably bad for us. Oh well. Y’all need to live a little! 

Author

Tashina Monk is a hyperbolic know-it-all with three kids, a life partner and a cat. She writes on family topics including becoming debt-free, traveling, and healthy, conscious living.

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