Personal Finance

The Trouble with Money

I am tired of thinking about money, budgeting, making goals  and questioning my goals. I just want a break from it all. I don’t necessarily want to go on a shopping spree or book an really expensive vacation. I just want to set our spending and saving on cruise control and not stress about it like I seem to be doing.

We are currently at the end of a very expensive month. There were dinner parties, house guests, baby showers and birthday celebration. I did my best to budget for these expenses but I was off by a lot. My husband and I had our first date night in years. This was not a budgeted expense, and at first I tried to discourage my husband from making plans. But my in-laws practically kicked us out of the house and told us not to return for several hours. We ended up going out to dinner and to comedy show. It turned out to be much more expensive than I thought it would be. At the beginning of the evening, I was mentally calculating how far back our date would put my financial goals. I decided to not worry about it for the evening and enjoy myself. So, we dipped into our savings a little. Now, I am trying to feel guilty about it.

Today was another example. I have been putting off making a trip to the store. We were in desperate need of toilet paper and a few other health and household items. As I was shopping, I stopped by the food section because my husband requested crackers. I picked them up without second thought. But when it came to purchasing food items for myself, I stood in the aisle have an intense debate with myself. Did I really NEED bananas? Sure, I eat one every morning for breakfast. Was there anything in my house I could eat instead of buying them?  I was out of bananas this morning and ate some baby carrots. Does this mean I just want bananas but don’t need them? I ran into the same dilemma with granola. I literally spent 5 minutes starring at the bananas and granola. In the end, I opted for just the bananas and put the granola back.

I guess guilty feelings and internal debates are all part of being financially savvy. But is there a better way?

 

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16 thoughts on “The Trouble with Money

  1. Yep, I totally get the whole “I’m tired of thinking about money” thing. It can become an unhealthy obsession if we let it. At the same time, I have to give myself permission to evolve. At the beginning of my personal finance journey my thoughts on how to budget, save, spend, etc were changing quite rapidly. It was like every week I had new ideas, goals, and priorities. But over time I began to find a groove that works for me and my family. I still tinker with stuff and will always do so, but it’s not as drastic as it once was. Perhaps you’re in a similar stage and you’ll find within time a groove that works for you guys.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Here’s to hoping I find my groove soon! I think I’m in a new phase of financial planning and it’s uncomfortable for me yet. Happy to hear that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel the same way. I have reminders set in my phone to remind me of “No spend days”, how much I should have paid in debt by a certain date and how much I should have saved. Sometimes the pop ups irritate me so much but I know I need them. I hope, as I get better with paying my debt and saving, I won’t need the reminders as much.

    Sometimes a date night is a cause to dip into savings! I know after working long hours, D and I love to just get out of the house to spend time together.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find that using YNAB has completely changed my outlook on this. Not that I don’t have stressful decisions to make, but I know that if I overspend in one category, that money has to come from some other budgeted category or I’m going into the red. Literally! So I don’t have those quandries of “well I’ll spend it now and worry about it later.” Instead I think “I have $75 left in my Treat Yoself category so I can only spend that much” or “I can’t do this unless I want to give up that.” Everything else just becomes clockwork.

    I swear, they haven’t paid me money to promote YNAB. It may sound like it but they haven’t! But I really need it to keep me honest, otherwise I forget that spending more than I bring in = building up additional debt. (Or that taking money away from debt payments = carrying debt longer, which often means the same thing.)

    Be kind to yourself though! You’re in control of your own money — don’t let it control you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoa! Stop right now! NO GUILT ALLOWED over date night… It is absolutely essential to keep dating your spouse. When we sat down with our kids and made a budget, they wisely insisted that date night is a budget item. They know and we know that making our marriage work is #1 priority – over everything else – savings, debt reduction, dance lessons, mortgages, all of it.

    Also, I agree with tenleygwen about YNAB. I like that whatever happens as the month goes along I can manage along the way. Life happens, it gets messy and it gets great but it all ends up costing money. We have YNAB classic – a one time buy rather than a subscription. Being able to adjust the budget as needed, we make better decisions and find things that we thought we needed in the budget turned out to not be as important as we thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Date nights are a must! We have them installed recently and they allow us to talk and get some experiences together by going toothier and comedy. We pay for them out of our personal fun money. The next level we do: kids free weekends! not cheap, but they add so much value to our living-now goal!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I know that feeling! My boyfriend surprised me with a visit last night (we’re long-distance), so we went out to eat, grabbed a bottle of wine and cookies…today I spent all day being upset that we spent so much money on one evening, but oh well. I can’t do anything about it now, so I might as well move on, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can relate to your feelings, but allowing important things in our lives are also important. money should not be the most important thing.. I found that in the last while, I am very hesitant to spend money, even when it is actually good for me. for example I am not eating well lately and sometimes I do not eat at all; but this is not healthy…. I should be eating. if I cannot cook and eat at home, then I should be dining out… otherwise I find my health getting negatively affected. I do also want to save as much as I can, but if it does not help with the essential or things that are good for us, we may/should question it. my two cents 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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