This has been a hard week for me. Nothing in particular has gone right or wrong. Yet for some reason I can’t stop thinking about my financial choices. I can’t stop wondering why I never buy anything for myself.
Why do I pinch pennies and save wherever and whenever I can? Why can’t I spend money on myself?
I used to be proud of my frugality, but something doesn’t feel right about it anymore. It shouldn’t be so hard to part with money. I shouldn’t feel so guilty for buying things I want or enjoy.
Most people can spend money on the things that make them happy, so why can’t I?
Why Can’t I Spend Money on Myself?
I think my upbringing has a lot to do with it. My mom was a stay-at-home mom for twelve years. During that time, (actually even after she took on a part time job), I rarely saw her spend money on herself. She spent plenty of money on my brother and I, but struggled to buy anything she needed or wanted.
When I was in college I once invited a group of friends back to my parent’s house. A good friend of mine walked into our bathroom and gasped. “What’s this?” she asked pointing to the mirrored wall paper. “That’s hideous.”
I never thought about the decor in that bathroom until that very moment. My parents didn’t renovate the house while we were growing up.
That hideous wallpaper had been chosen by the previous owners in 1977. Twenty-two years later it was still glued to my parent’s bathroom walls.
In fact, our house was full of 1970s decor. There was a dark green stove, mirrored wall paper, wood paneling and rust-colored shag carpeting.
My mom said she didn’t update the house because she wasn’t earning a paycheck and my dad didn’t make a ton of money, but it was more than that. She didn’t like to spend money on things for herself. Instead, she chose to spend the money on her husband and children.
I Can’t Spend Money on Myself
As I grow and age I realize that I am falling into the same patterns as my mother. I never spend money on myself. I don’t shop often and I rarely buy things that I want. These days I only buy new items for my husband or children.
My husband doesn’t struggle to spend money the way I do. This summer he spent over $1000 on landscaping services. A crew of men weeded, edged, mowed and planted new azaleas for us. When they were finished my husband happily handed them a check.
Later that same month he paid $1500 to place decking under our house. He also spent $1400 on an ice machine and $2000 on a new set of camera lenses.
When he wants to buy something he does. He doesn’t spend thirty minutes searching for coupon codes or comparing prices. He simply pulls out his wallet and types numbers into the online submission forms. Two days later the boxes arrive from Amazon.
I don’t expect to start spending money at the drop of a hat, but I would like to feel more at ease buying items I want or need.
I waste so much time worrying about saving money. Clipping coupons and scouting out deals is ridiculously time consuming.
I deny myself the joy of spending money on myself.
I Never Spend Money on Myself
As I reflect on my actions I am amazed by how closely they mimic my mom’s behavior. My mom always put everyone else’s desires and needs above her own.
I’ve followed right in her footsteps and I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. Becoming a stay-at-home mom has only furthered this unhealthy behavior. Now that I’m not earning a paycheck I find it even more difficult to spend money on myself.
While my friends and family members focus on the joy of spending, I focus on the comfort of saving money. It helps me overcome stress and financial anxiety. I suppose that peace of mind is worth more to me than whatever it is I’d like to buy.
But I’d still like to pull out my credit card without second guessing every decision. I’m tired of feeling guilty for wanting something I don’t need.
I Don’t Like Spending Money on Myself
To be honest I’m not certain how to get over this hurdle. I’ve been this way for so long that I can’t imagine doing things any differently.
Why don’t I like spending money on myself? How can I learn to enjoy spending money without feeling bad or guilty about it?
I’d love to hear from my readers. Do any of you struggle to spend money on yourself? Do you find yourself thinking “I never buy anything for myself?” Do you have advice for me?