The Problem With Spending


I just bought something.  For myself.  I didn’t need it – it’ll make things easier, but I didn’t need it, and I didn’t need it now.  There was a sale on, it was a bit cheaper than it would normally be, and I could afford it.

But the conditioning from an early age – I was an anxious and empathetic middle child, and mother’s face got so pinchy when I needed new shoes or clothes and I hated it – and the decade of abuse from a narcissist obsessed with money and the perception of power, going straight into being an impoverished student with too many animals, has meant that I cannot spend money.  If I spend money on myself bad things will happen and I won’t be able to afford to pay for the things I have to pay for.

Because that’s what would happen.  I would budget, make sure we could afford everything, give myself nothing to spend, and he would spend it all and fuck the budget.  My mind damn near exploded when I had a problem that would require financial input this year … and I realised that I could pay for it and no one would fuck up my budget so I couldn’t.  But I still couldn’t spend money on myself.

So I, understandably, panicked.  I felt guilty.  I felt awful!  I’d just spent money that didn’t need to be spent!

A friend of mine, who experiences these same issues, suggested that I budget in ‘my money’, the money I’m allowed to put aside and spend on whatever I want and is separate from my savings.  I will definitely start doing that, because I have difficulty with the ‘savings’ distinction.  I have difficulty identifying what it’s there for, but now I will have two ‘savings’.  One is for emergencies.  The other is for me to spend on myself.  On whatever I want.

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