There are a ton of ways to get your budget under control, but it can be tough figuring out the best solution for your individual finances 鈥 money is particularly personal, after all. From keeping track of your spending in a spreadsheet to finding ways to eat healthier for less, it seems like we鈥檙e constantly fine-tuning our spending and saving strategies, trying out new tricks along the way. And while some of this financial advice often feels like a punishment, this latest budget tip we came across actually encourages you to spend money! On stuff that makes you happy! Sound too good to be true? We鈥檒l let Lacey Langford, an Accredited Financial Counselor with over 10 years of experience in financial counseling and coaching, explain.

buy what you want, what you really really want

Basically, Langford says that cutting the little luxuries 鈥 Netflix subscriptions, happy hours, morning lattes 鈥 out of your budget may save you some money in the short-term, but it almost always backfires and ends up costing you more down the line. Not many people can live that way forever, denying themselves the things that bring them pleasure. Life is stressful, and sometimes it鈥檚 your monthly massage that makes you feel the most centered.

She says that 鈥渋f you鈥檙e the type of person that enjoys the finer things in life, not spending money on those items is only going to last for so long. Restricting yourself can cause you to overspend later, because you feel you have 鈥榚arned鈥 it. Instead, it鈥檚 a better plan to know yourself, your budget, what you want and can afford in terms of luxuries.鈥 It鈥檚 like any food diet 鈥 you鈥檒l lose a few pounds your first week of a grapefruit-and-celery diet, but eventually, you鈥檙e going to gorge yourself on donuts and beer and end up feeling worse than you did before you started.

how to tell the difference between worthwhile vs. frivolous luxuries

Of course, this doesn鈥檛 mean Langford is advocating for blowing all your extra dough at the gelato spot in your neighborhood every night. To truly determine if a frequent purchase is a worthwhile luxury or something you can truly do without, Langford recommends tracking your spending. Think about which purchases bring you some sense of happiness or peace, and which ones you鈥檝e forgotten about or never used.

Maybe your weekly Target trip always ends up with you spending 50 extra dollars on workout gear you never wear, but your Tuesday happy hours with your coworkers leave you feeling energized to finish the rest of the week in a good mood. Additionally, Langford says you need to be willing to sacrifice for the things you want. 鈥淔or example, you may want Starbucks every morning, and that鈥檚 perfectly fine, but you need to be willing to cut somewhere else, like using coupons when you go grocery shopping.鈥

It鈥檚 a realistic, thoughtful approach to spending and saving, and we are totally here for it.

What鈥檚 one small luxury you could never cut from your budget? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know what you can鈥檛 live without!