In all honesty, budgeting isn’t as bad as dieting. I’ve done both on several occasions and not surprisingly, at the same time. Dieting is much, much worse.
Dieting makes you weak and dizzy and all you can think about is food.
Budgeting makes you bored and lonely and all you can think about is the future.
The problem with dieting is that all that effort not eating can be reversed in a weekend of moderate taco consumption. Technically, the same is true of budgeting, but once you have scraped a few thousand dollars into a bank account, it becomes more natural to want to protect that money.
There is a critical difference between these two very similar disciplines : losing 10-15 pounds can make you feel better and look better, but having $5000.00 in the bank will give you real world options.
Keeping your emergency fund topped up should be your 1st priority, but after that, you have choices. I would recommend creating a list of priorities. Maybe now would be a good time to find a new job? Or move into a new apartment?
Maybe you should just keep saving for a while. At least when you have savings, your next decision won’t be all-or-nothing. That feeling of “living on the edge” won’t keep you awake at night.
And you won’t be forced into situations that make you miserable, like bad roommates or crappy jobs. As long as you have the emergency fund in place, you’re doing OK.
If you manage to build it even further, it may be time to start some basic investing.