Disciplined Spending Pros and Cons

For some people discipline and money go together about as well as oil and water. Getting control of your finances is challenging and it is even more challenging to stay in control of your finances, but if you can master it, the behavior pays off – literally. However, not everything about disciplined spending is a bed of roses. Like everything else, there are pros and cons to a disciplined spending lifestyle.

When Benjamin Franklin made decisions, he would often list out the pros and cons of a certain idea and give his acceptance or denial of something based on which side of the list had more items. If you are weighing the measure of a lifestyle of disciplined spending, this might help.

Pros of disciplined spending

You have a budget. This puts you in control of your money at all times.

You spend less money, because you have a budget.

You track your expenses, which can help you avoid costly overdraft fees.

You know where your money is going.

You won’t run out of money before your next paycheck.

Disciplined spending helps hedge against impulse buys.

You are more conscious about what you spend, and more aware of what you are spending your money on.

You become a planner and a saver.

You kick the habit of frivolous spending on things you don’t need.

You are always looking for new ways to save money.

You re-learn the real value of a dollar – and that goes for each dollar you have.

Cons of Disciplined Spending

It takes time and effort to develop a budget you can work with.

You run the risk of going on a “spending binge” when you come in under budget on one or two items – almost as if you are rebelling against the discipline that exists in your budget.

You could become overly frugal, and sacrifice some of the joy in life.

As with every lifestyle choice, moderation is the key and breaking bad spending habits takes time. You have to know when to spend, when to save and when to allow yourself to have a little fun. While disciplined spending takes time, effort and practice, having money in the bank, money in savings and money to invest can actually free up more money for you to spend on life’s little adventures and fun. So before you wave off disciplined spending as something you believe to be too difficult for you to stick with, try to recall that feeling of excitement you get when you find a $5 bill you forgot about in the pocket of your jeans, and imagine feeling that way all the time, because that is how a disciplined spender feels.