Why Do I Feel Guilty For Spending the Money I Saved?

I’ve been saving money for no particular reason. I’m just a saver and so I did my best to squirrel my pennies. I clipped coupons, I searched for bargains and I stayed out of stores. I sold unwanted items on eBay and promised myself to limit future purchases of items I do and did not need.

I never tapped into that money. Once it crossed the threshold from checking to savings it never crossed back. That’s the way I like it and that’s the way I intended to be. I figured I would tap the money once I reached financial independence or retirement, whichever came first.

But then, one day, back in October my son was born and I decided to rethink my plans for that money.

I previously carried health insurance through my employer so with my job loss comes a $1500 monthly COBRA bill. That means I not only lost my paycheck, but now owe an additional $18,000 in medical premiums each year! (My husband is self employed and all of the policies we’ve found to date have similar costs.)

I am now considering staying home with my son and plan to use a portion of the money my husband and I have saved to pay our monthly medical insurance bills.

I know people who drain their savings to buy their first home. I know others who drain their account every six months or a year to travel the world. So why is it that I feel guilty for using the money to stay home with my son?

3 thoughts on “Why Do I Feel Guilty For Spending the Money I Saved?”

  1. I don’t have an answer as to why you feel guilty but I can tell you I feel the same way! Once money is transferred into savings it is as if it is GONE. I recently used a reasonable chunk of savings to pay down our house for a refi (cut 3% off our rate and 15 years off the loan term), but I still feel ill over the fact I used the savings. Just wanted to share that you are not alone and I get it.

  2. You only get to spend time with your baby once, you have your whole lifetime to earn back that money you are taking out of your savings. I left my six figure job to stay home with my newborn son in Jan 2011. We are dipping into savings, but I knew that would happen, and am ok with it as long as it’s not for unnecessary purchases. I know one day I’ll have to get a job again, but for now I am enjoying the time with my son.

  3. I think you might feel guilty because, as you said, you did not save the money with any purpose in mind. The folks you reference who spend money on vacations, etc., most likely saved that money specifically for that reason and so it makes sense to use it once the correct amount is acquired. Aimless saving helps you to accumulate money but it can result in feeling guilty when you spend the money you’ve saved…but that’s why it’s there! You didn’t save money to let it be a number on a paper, no matter how much comfort that gives you…you save money so you can have a comfortable, stress free life full of the things and people you love. I think it’s wonderful that you can use the money you saved in order to make the most of this time with your adorable son. You shouldn’t feel bad! This is what it’s about. This is what you worked for.


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