When it comes to spending money I usually have the motto, “Just don’t buy it.”
This motto has served me well. It has helped our family survive a crushing job loss, save for retirement and our kids college funds, build up sinking funds, and allow me to continue my favorite job as stay at home mom.
However, when you live very frugally and are tight with money, it’s fairly common to develop some spending guilt. Have you ever experienced this????
Spending guilt is actually a very good thing, even necessary in some cases. It can give us the extra kick we need to stop overspending and to start working towards those financial goals.
But, not everyone should feel guilty about spending money. Just as important as it is to learn frugality, it’s equally important to learn how to spend money without feeling guilty.
When You Should NOT Feel Guilty About Spending Money….
1. When You Budgeted for the Expense
I encourage everyone to plan ahead each month and make a budget for all expenses. This includes your fun expenses!
Part of the fun of budgeting, is being able to control your money in a way that gives you the ability to buy the fun stuff! You’ve worked hard and have been responsible, so enjoy the benefits! (within budget, of course)
When we give to others (through time, service, monetary means, etc.), we are able to see beyond ourselves, and this is truly priceless!
Money can make it easy to lose sight of the big picture. Yes, we all need money, and yes we should all be working on growing our wealth….but don’t forget to seek out ways to give to others at the same time.
Consider budgeting a portion of your monthly income to give to others. This could be as a gift or donation. I tithe 10% to my church every month, and also try to donate regularly to causes I feel strongly about.
Never feel guilty for giving!! You are uplifting the lives of others….and that is much more important than a fancy car.
3. When You Saved For It
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting something expensive (and maybe even a little frivolous). As a matter of fact, I think we should ALL have some fun expensive dreams (it’s what makes life worth living, right?!?!).
Set up a few sinking funds for your big purchases, and save up for what you want. Even if that means it will take you a decade to have enough money.
There is nothing better than sacrificing and saving for a big purchase, this is a moment when you should purchase with pride and confidence! You deserve it (and that’s not something I say often!).
4. When Your Spending Matches Your Goals
Do you have financial goals? I hope so! Financial goals will help keep you motivated and focused!
Financial goals will help you find a good rhythm for spending. You never need to feel any guilt when your spending is keeping you on the path to accomplishing your goals. If at any time you feel unsettled about where you are putting your money, it might mean that your spending isn’t aligned with your goals.
5. When You Are Doing Everything Right
There is no need to feel any guilt when you are trying to live a frugal life 95% of the time. Nobody is perfect (nope, not even Dave Ramsey!). But, if you are actively paying off debt, and saving into a retirement fund, emergency fund and college savings…..if you try hard every day to spend less and save more…..than treat yourself every once in a while!
We all need a little break from scrimping and saving, and if you are doing EVERYTHING right, it’s ok for a splurge every once in a while! When those pesky feelings of guilt try to creep in, remind yourself of ALL of your many successes and of all of the work you are putting in.
Do you struggle with spending guilt???? How do you manage it? Let’s help each other out by sharing our tips in the comments!