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.