May 19, 2011


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?


  1. We don't splurge much. When it comes to computer-type stuff, Chris does ~ but only if I agree, & he knows he has extra $ coming in to cover it. I'll splurge on something for the house, but under the same conditions.

  2. We aren't big splurgers either. I need to watch it with the little things - that's where I waste more money.

  3. Chris and I are sometimes to lose with our expenses. We always think about all of our purchases before they happen and some debates have gone on for years. The problem with us is when we do buy something we tend to buy the biggest, best product out there instead of the plane jane product. In our minds we are hoping to save money in the long run assuming the more expensive product is better and will last longer. But it annoys me to spend that much and I go a little crazy about it.

    When we were renting we didn’t spend money on luxuries like internet, cable and fancy phones but now we have all of those things and I don’t think twice about it. Finances are hard and it’s even harder to find the right balance. I wish I was as diligent as you are.

    I hope my rambling made some sense ;)

  4. i feel like we save pretty well and then i'll decide to spend some money on something i've wanted for a while. it's nice because we live off my full time job income, but then i earn some extra from teaching aerobics i feel ok letting myself spend that "extra" money. oh the mind games we play!

  5. ahhhhh the financial debate.. what is unnecessary spending to one is not so much to another... I just justified my first pair of Rocky boots in 10 years b/c they are used but only worn 3x & $40 instead of $140 & if I can't wear them (thank you running for changing my feet) I will turn around & sell them!

  6. My husband likes to splurge--all the time. We have a very different outlook on money. I am like you, 20 bucks for a pair of pants----geez, I dont think I can handle that.

  7. We don't really splurge to much. I have no trouble buying this for Hubs and the kids, but when it comes to me I have what I call buyers remorse. I will hash it out with myself. We don't go buy big ticket items either with out consulting the one another. I have a friend whose husband will take her car and then come back with a new one. While the idea is very sweet, I would be upset if Hubs did that.

  8. it's REALLY hard for me mainly because i'm NOT in a comfortable financial position. well, i that i don't "want" for anything...but i'm not in that all the debt that accrued while i tried to pay the mortgage is still there and growing bigger daily.

    i live in this weird place of "God is supplying my every need" and "omgosh, i have to take EVERY job just to pay bills, save for the wedding, and begin to pay off this debt!"

    i've never thought of it as a prison...rather "it is what it is". and someday this period will have passed...but i will be financially wiser because of going through it. i have to keep reminding myself of that.

  9. I guess when we start our Dave Ramsey classes next week, we will learn what our rules are, because apparently I've lived without rules for too long.


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