I went shopping on my lunch break today to pick up a couple of odds and ends. I went to 2 stores and both times when I checked out, I felt a little angry and maybe even guilty about spending the money. What made it worse is that everything was full price, I had no coupons and ended up spending $50 on fish food and a bottle of rum. I couldn’t believe how much I spent in under half an hour on just a couple of things.
Then, I stopped myself. This money was spent out of love. The rum is for when my best friend comes over and the food is for my pets. And while the fish might not like me very much (they actually bite me), deep down, I know I love them. And believe me, I may not be rich, but I can afford the $50. I won’t even notice it’s gone, especially since I just got paid today. So, why did I have such a negative knee-jerk reaction to spending it?
I was brought up in an environment where you couldn’t buy anything without it being on sale AND having a coupon. I was raised with the idea that spending money was a bad thing and saving money was a good thing. My Dad was an electrician and many of his friends would spend a couple of years out of work every now and then, so my Mom was a big saver to make sure we would have enough to get through a similar situation. She did what she had to do and she did it well. And it is thanks to her that I have such good financial habits. I always make sure to have savings and never spend anything I cannot pay for at that moment. But what did this do to my relationship with money?
Money is meaningless if you don’t spend it. My great uncle was so cheap that he even turned off the gas to his oven because he didn’t use it. When he passed away, he had over a million dollars in the bank because he barely spent anything during his life. Since he had no children, he left the money to the church. While the church may have benefited, what good did that money ever do my uncle? Money that isn’t spent is just a number on a computer screen. Nothing more.
I’m sure that my relationship with money would have gotten even worse if I had ever gotten to the point where I thought I would lose my house or didn’t know how we were going to eat that night. I’ve been very fortunate to never experience anything like that. But how do we expect to attract money into our lives when we have all of these negative emotions around spending it? When we can afford our purchase and we are buying it out of love, we should feel joy. We are transforming that number in the bank into something useful. Something that will make someone happy. That is the sole purpose of having the money to begin with.
I suppose that makes my limiting belief something like “Money should be saved, not spent”. I will definitely be “tapping” (using EFT) on this issue tonight!