You don't have to give up your daily lattes and live like a pauper in order to successfully save for the future, self-made millionaire and personal finance author Ramit Sethi tells CNBC Make It.
"Everywhere you turn, you hear people telling you what you can't do with your money: No lattes, no jeans, no vacations," Sethi says.
Though the costs of small pleasures can add up over a lifetime, giving up all the "extras" typically doesn't work in the long run, he says. That's partly because it can be difficult to say "no" all the time. Financial experts say constant vigilance around money can use up your willpower and, in some cases, push you to go on a spending spree. If you give yourself permission say "yes" occasionally, it can help you stay the course, like having cheat days on a diet.
There's also a limit to how much you can trim your spending, and there's a limit to how far trimming your spending can get you.
Ultimately, Sethi says, the ends don't justify the means, not when the means make you miserable. "One day, when you're 2,000 years old, you can feel great — who wants to live like that?" he says. "Life isn't simply about cutting back."
Extreme frugality isn't worth it, argues the "I Will Teach You to be Rich" author.
Besides, depending on your income and budget, you don't have to eliminate treats in order to successfully save for milestones like buying a home, children and retirement.
Instead, he recommends automatically putting money aside for savings and investing so you can stay on track with your long-term financial goals. Then, after you pay your expenses, use any leftover money, guilt-free, on things that make you happy.