Spending Money

Does you ever feel guilty about spending money? While I was a student (read: living off my parents’ $$$), I didn’t really feel this way at all. However, now that I’ve had to handle my own finances, the weight of each dollar is more apparent. The odd thing about this feeling is that I’m more financially stable than I’ve ever been my whole life right now. I have a stable source of income that covers my current needs and am even able to save some money per month. What makes me afraid to spend too much now is the future. It’s not like I have some large financial goals that I’m trying to reach besides paying off the existing debt I have. To me, money is something that we use as both a means to sustain ourselves now as well as a hedge against future risk. Maybe it’s just the global situation that’s, rightfully, easing into my anxieties about the future. I’m painfully aware how fleeting these feelings of security may be. Any moment, something devastating could happen which would pull the carpet from under my feet. Losing my job would be a big loss, for example. Realistically speaking, I’m (fairly) sure that something like this won’t happen since my company has been doing really well and I am heavily contributing to the success of my team. Even if it does, I’m in a position where my skill-set is in demand. Yet even knowing all this, I still can’t shake off this feeling that I’m bound towards catastrophe.

One recent event that may have contributed somewhat to my feelings now was meaninglessly losing money at the beginning of COVID-19 due to poor investments. It’s hard to look back on that failure objectively, even knowing that in the grand scheme of things it ultimately will not matter; especially when investing has brought me gains that surpass my losses. Still, I often think about the difference that money makes. For me, it could be worth re-framing somehow, such as considering the loss a ‘debt’ and increasing my savings to match that amount. By these means, I would at least be able to feel less guilty after the money’s back into my hands.

I’ve been meaning to create a budget so that I can afford to spend more on myself. To begin with, I’m a fairly frugal person and I’m very conscientious about my spending. Nevertheless, by creating a budget and realistic savings goals, I would be able to continue with my lifestyle while simultaneously subduing my fears about spending. Plus, it’ll feel hella good when I can prove that I spent less than I expected.

Now that I think about it some now, it makes sense that I’m having such a hard time with spending money now. Spending your own dime serves as a reminder to me of the effort used to generate that coin.

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