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Permission to spend ... granted?

August 6th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

One of the realizations that I've been struggling with lately is that I love to shop. I'm a spender, not a saver. I love clothes. I love shoes. I love books. I love eating out. I love going to concerts. I just love using my money to get me things that I want.

I'm at that point when I'm realizing that enjoying my money doesn't mean that I can't save, and it should never mean that I go into debt. If I were responsible with my money to begin with, I'd probably be able to feel a lot more relaxed NOW. I would have a comfortable amount in savings. I wouldn't be in debt. I would get rid of any guilt I feel when spending money now, even if it's for a true necessity like toilet paper. I might even feel comfortable enough to spring for that red pair of shoes I talked about so long ago. (I really, really want them!)

And even though I am in debt, I don't think I should feel guilty for spending money. Now, if I were going on wild, crazy shopping sprees and continuing to use my credit cards, THEN I think I should be feeling guilty. But if I have an extra $5 ... it could go to pay off the debt faster. And usually, now, it does. But it could also go to a cheap bottle of wine ($2.99, Trader Joes!) and a DVD rental. It could go to buy fresh mozzarella. Some new eyeshadow.

My point is that I'm feeling incredibly guilty with every dollar I spend ... even if the money is going to debt payment! I want to hoard, hoard, hoard ... dollars. Every penny out is becoming an endless source of guilt ... whether it's a $5 lunch out with my co-workers or $65 for an electric bill.

But, even with my excessive debt, that doesn't make me a bad person. And that doesn't mean I should feel guilty that not absolutely every single penny is either going to credit cards or savings. I mean, come on. I have rent to make. I have to eat. On a more superficial note, I have to look somewhat professional in my career.

So ... my latest struggle is learning to not only accept but embrace the fact that yes, I do like to shop and that I am going to spend money in the future ... but I have to do it while managing my budget and savings at the same time. I cannot allow myself to get into credit card debt again. But I can allow myself to allow my money to let me do things I enjoy.

So what about you? Spender or saver? A bit of both?

7 Responses to “Permission to spend ... granted?”

  1. Koppur Says:

    I completely relate. I am a total spender, but now I am becoming a saver. I love seeing my saving balance grow, and it kills me when I have to spend money (bills, groceries, gas on car) cuz I just think, "Oooh, that $80 woould bump my savings up quite a bit!" I guess the trick is to gt to where you spend what you have to, and maybe a little extra for fun, but just save the rest. At least, for me. Smile

  2. sillyoleme Says:

    I'm a bit in between I guess. I haven't ever really been a "saver", but I've always been obsessed with MAKING money. I loved working in my grandpa's tobacco fields when I was 8, because I got paid. Even though it was a 50 hour week in the sun, and I only got $100, it seemed like so much. I babysat, had yard sales, even bought tons of tootsie-pops and resold them for a profit in middle school.

    That said, I do like to spend. I think it has something to do with working so hard, and doing so much with school and extra-curricularly... I felt like buying myself something that I wanted was a type of reward or release.

    Now we're trying to fight our way out of debt, and I've realized that I have to be able to spend a LITTLE money every once in a while, or I end up "binging" by spending alot at once.

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    I was a spender too, and I say amen to what you said!

  4. go.xtina Says:

    I love clothes and shoes (recently). Wanna know how many shoes I have now? 12 pairs!! I don't have winter boots and sandals (It gets too hot to wear flat sometimes). I will end up with 14-15 pairs of shoes by the end of this year probably... Good thing I didn't buy them expensive and they are the shoes that go well with most of my outfits now. Thank goodness I don't go on debt now but I have to control myself for god sake or my future will not be pretty.

  5. Ima saver Says:

    I am a saver and have been all my life. Because I was a saver, I can now splurge on dinner out every night, corvettes and a really nice house!

  6. merch Says:

    I am a saver in a lot of ways, but also a spender in some ways. My weakness is cars and watches. I am talking about $60k cars and $7k watches. Other then those two categories, I am pretty much a saver.

    I did scare my wife when I said that I was going to buy a ferrari when I turn 40. But will probably settle for a new watch. Embarrassment

  7. gamecock43 Says:

    I like your point. Its been repeated many times/many ways, but I like your honest realization. We need to find abalance. And even if we are natural spenders, it doesnt make us 'bad'.

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