Do you ever find yourself saying, “Oh, I know I shouldn’t spend that, but…”, or “I know it seems extravagant, but…” in a dismissive way - in a way that indicates that you should feel guilty or ashamed of your spending?
Stop doing that.
I want you to stop feeling bad about your spending. There is no one item you can buy that makes you a bad person.* When I hear people speaking like this (which I do, a lot), it’s usually in reference to things that increase your quality of life or make your life easier and which you can afford to spend.
That is the point of money. To be spent, saved, or given away as we wish. Money exists to give us a way to trade our work for other goods and services that we desire more than not working. Having more money than the bare minimum we need to survive gives us freedom and options.
Feeling guilty or ashamed about spending “too much” money does not serve anyone.
Spending money is a function of living a life. We would not begrudge someone spending money to keep a roof over their head, though arguably they could if they really bucked up, make a shelter in the woods for their family. As a society, we have created an unwritten list of things that it is OK to spend money on and things that it is Not OK to spend money on - or at least, you should be hyper-aware of your conspicuous consumption while doing it. Things like getting takeout, hiring someone to clean your home, or buying clothes that help you feel more confident striking a power pose.
There is nothing inherently wrong with spending money (or not!) on any of those things. I literally make my living teaching people how to save more money, and I am telling you - stop feeling bad about spending money.
Spending money to buy yourself more time and freedom makes you happier. If you’re spending, saving, or giving away money in a way that simply makes you happy, that supports your family or community, or makes your life easier, why are you are dismissing that as unimportant? Stop. Quality of life matters. We all deserve a good quality of life.
Now, that doesn’t mean I think you shouldn’t examine where your money is going. Spending it without awareness, or without asking where it fits in with your priorities is a problem. Not meeting your savings goals because of a lack of awareness is a problem (a very common one!). I still refuse to make you feel bad about that, but I do want you to start bringing your attention and your intention to your finances. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out my free 5-day challenge that’s all about that. If you’re ready to really dive in and make a change, check out some of my posts about budgeting.
If you do nothing else after reading this post, I want you to stop using single-ply toilet paper. There is literally no excuse for anyone on earth to be using single-ply. I am convinced it exists for the sole purpose of making penny pinchers feel like they have cut back in every way they can. “See? I even cut back on TP!” I get so mad when I see single-ply out in the wild (I’m self-employed and work at home, anywhere outside of my house is “the wild”). WHYYYY?? I cry to the sky. Why would anyone do this to themselves?
There’s only one answer - they want to signal (to themselves, to their unfortunate guests) that they are deeply frugal and practical people.
F*ck that. F*ck single ply right off the face of this earth.
I am a deeply frugal and practical person. I am a money coach. And I give you permission to walk past that part of the grocery store aisle every time. Don’t even consider it. No one needs to live like that.
What do you think? Tell me in the comments!
*I assume throughout this post that you’re not spending money on violating anyone’s human rights, paying someone an unfair wage just because you can, intentionally supporting sweatshops, or donating money to political candidates or causes who are actively trying to make some people’s lives worse based on their race, ethnicity, immigration status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender expression. Those are not good things to do with your money. Don’t do them.