is rationalizing right or wrong?

If you can rationalize what you are doing, that doesn’t necessarily make it right…right? Why do we make daily decisions that could have a long term impact our lives? Is it so we can get through the day? The month? The year?

We fall so easily into the ruts we find ourselves in. We live in our own little worlds where we rationalize everything to make it okay.  I can buy that $5 coffee even though I owe 5 million dollars in medical bills. (Okay, five million is an exaggeration, but you get the picture.) I really need those jeans because they’re on sale—my root canal can wait another month or two..

I admit it. Occasionally, I make decisions like those because coffee and jeans make me happy. I know my friends do it too.  We see what we need right now and not what we need in the long run. Even if we do see that our rationalizations are absurd, it feels so much better, in the moment,  to ignore the problems and get what we want.

But the problems doesn’t go away. The 5 million dollar medical bills linger. The tooth aches.  The past haunts.



my weekly coffee


I’m not going to quit coffee cold turkey because I have monthly bills. But the mother in me says “the responsible thing to do is prioritize!”  So, I drink less coffee. I spend less in general too.

Often, it depends on the situation. Overall, I believe rationalizing is wrong…and right. Don’t overdo it. Don’t cut out every “rationalized” expense either. Everyone needs a perk once in a while to keep going, and it’s okay to rationalize as long as  it isn’t harmful. Whether you ignore the issues or not, those pesky problems aren’t going anywhere unless you handle them.

Although my issues weren’t as extreme as my examples, I did need to reevaluate what I was spending and why. I noticed I spent more when I there was a writing project that I needed to finish. I was spending more to avoid all types of issues, not only financial.

I know how difficult it is to look at “the big picture.” You don’t get any immediate awards for it,  but you will thank yourself later. Plus, in this economy, every little bit helps…

About this entry