Have you ever felt trapped?
I'm not talking about being physically pinned in while sitting in traffic. Or even overwhelmed by situational events.
But trapped in your own head?
That's how money makes me feel. I'm good with money. I have some money. I like to shop.
So why does the thought of spending money make me anxious? I'm not necessarily talking big ticket items. Really anything over $20 does the trick.
I sit here, reading my twitter stream, dreaming of a world in which I get to attend Fit Bloggin with the rest of my bloggy friends. Only I know that world doesn't exist.
Its hard to explain how my mind works. You know how it seems weird on Monk that he hates germs yet is compelled to touch every post he walks past? Its kinda like that. After all I usually spend most of my $125 personal spending on fast food. Yet spending $20 on a pair of work pants makes me pause to consider it. (I ended up saying "no thanks" to the pants.)
So while Jay & I are in a comfortable financial position, I can never see myself being willing to spend the $$$ on a blog conference.
Honestly that makes me sad.
I don't understand why I feel okay with spending several hundred on the Disney Marathon and not on Fit Bloggin. I don't understand why putting money in our Roth IRA seems normal, while buying a cabin to put on a rental program scares the poop outta me.
I really don't get it, but I feel trapped. Its the same with the great iPhone debate of 2011 (that will probably spill into 2012+)
A prison of your own making is a scary place to be. I don't understand the rules of confinement so how can I ever be free of them?
The things I deny myself are luxuries. Common luxuries, but it would be tough to argue that they were anything but frivolous extras. How will I know the point, when I reach it, that such luxuries are okay?
When we have our house paid off?
When we have a $1 million + net worth?
How much money is "enough" to set the HVAC on comfortable? We're certainly not living in 3rd world conditions, but I'm not sure many people would describe 60 in the winter as optimal, nor 80 in the summer. So where is that line? (If electricity were free I'd set it on 68 in the winter and 78 in the summer.)
I thought writing it out would help, but I think I need to stop now before giving myself a full blown anxiety attack.
Talk to me. What are your rules for spending on luxuries? Do you have any? How do they affect your long term financial planning?