Guilty, Guilty, Guilty

Why We Often Feel Guilty About How We Spend Our Money

Vaughan Moore

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Buyers remorse is a powerful emotion. We’ve all had it before. “Why did I buy that? I know I don’t need it, but I wanted it. I shouldn’t have…”

And, have you noticed that it comes in big and small sizes? I can feel buyers remorse over the purchase of a computer, a car or a house. But I can also feel it when I splurge on a 2nd gallon of ice cream, a shirt I bought on impulse, or the lunch I bought instead of packing a sandwich.

Why is that?

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty

Something deep inside our brains tells us we are guilty when we make large or unplanned purchases. Guilt is a powerful emotion and marketing companies use all kinds of emotions to get us to buy.

Guilt, shame, entitlement, beauty, fame, power are all weapons that are used against us. And we succumb to them often.

But, we have weapons of our own to defend ourselves.

A Strong Defense

Interestingly, I don’t feel guilty buying a shirt when I know I need one and have the money set aside. In fact, I feel empowered to buy it. When I give myself permission to spend, I’m satisfied.

That’s not something marketing companies want.  They want us to feel dissatisfied.

When I’m dissatisfied with my wardrobe or my technology or my transportation, I’m susceptible to being influenced by outside forces. That’s why I practice gratitude and follow up with budgeting.

Gratitude Is The Key

It’s what prevents me from looking at my “old” phone and not wanting a new one. It’s what reminds me of all I have rather than what I don’t.  It keeps me grounded.

Budgeting is The Tool

It helps me keep my priorities straight. It reminds me I have limited resources and to buy what is important to me not what’s important to others. And it gives me permission to spend without guilt.

Try This Today

  1. Think of something you need or want. Maybe it’s a new pair of shoes, maybe it’s a night out with someone special, or maybe it’s just this week’s groceries.
  2. Now be thankful. Be thankful for what you have. Maybe it’s good health, maybe it’s great friendships, maybe it’s a basic roof over your head.
  3. Now, evaluate what you need or want with what you have. Do you have enough?
  4. If you do, be thankful all the more!
  5. If you don’t, give yourself permission to buy it.
  6. If you don’t have a formal budget, decide what you’re going to give up to get it. Life is about trade offs.  Contrary to marketing slogans, we can’t have it all.  We know this in our hearts, we just need to live it.
  7. But if you do have a formal budget, see where you are in that category.  Maybe you have the money there already. If you do, that’s freedom!

Happiness & Freedom

Gratitude and budgeting bring happiness and freedom. Truly grateful people are happy regardless of circumstances. And freedom to spend comes from knowing you have the money to spend it.

Try it today!

Aug 10, 2018

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