spending money

10 Ideas: How To Get Over Feeling Guilty After Spending Money on Yourself?

Making large purchases can be nerve-wracking, especially when trying to stay on a budget or money is tight. But even when one is comfortable financially, large purchases can bring up feelings of guilt. These feelings are natural, significantly, if you grew up with limited means. Thankfully there are ways to alleviate that guilt about buying things that can make you happy.

1. Make a Monthly Fun Budget

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The most frequent and helpful suggestion to ease guilt is allocating monthly money to fun, non-essential purchases. Some call it a “Fun fund” or “Fun Budget,” It is money set aside for the things in life that we don't need to live but bring some joy into our lives. Some examples would be travel, new clothes, or video games.

One person also suggests “rolling over any extra each month.” This idea is brilliant and positive and will help alleviate those feelings because it can eliminate the thought that you are being frivolous. Plus, it can help save for more expensive purchases.

2. Remember, Life is Short

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Finding balance is important. Planning for one's future and doing our best to set aside enough for emergencies is imperative. But at the same time, the one guarantee in life is that it ends. That may seem morbid, but no one knows how long we have.

One person aptly and wisely states that balancing saving for the future and living a full and happy life is vital. They very wisely assert, “there is no dress rehearsal.”

Life is so short. And while one should not be irresponsible, we should also never feel bad for living life to our fullest. An excellent Frank Capra film, You Take Take it With You, reminds us of such assertions.

3. Cost, Worth, and Longevity

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When purchasing anything, it is crucial to consider how much something costs and how long it will last. With an expensive one, these are critical considerations.

But these are also things to help ease feelings of guilt. For example, one savvy user discusses the math they do in their head of how much something costs divided by “long will it last/ how long will you use it for.”

Something may be expensive, but it will be worth it if it lasts a long time. While worth is different for everyone and can be “arbitrary,” it is still helpful because it can ease that internal struggle. Buying a computer or a pricy but staple piece for one's wardrobe are classic examples.

4. Comparison Shop

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I cannot emphasize enough how much I employ comparison shopping. But, as one person says, comparison shopping is not just a suggestion but something that should go hand in hand with every purchase.

In the day and age of online shopping, looking at various stores to find the best price is essential. Therefore, I always look at multiple places before a large purchase. Not only will you save money, but it can help with that guilty feeling.

5. Change Old Mindsets

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According to many people, adopting a new mindset is a powerful tool to help from feeling as if you are being irresponsible. Several people note that unlearning attitudes from childhood can be problematic because that is when we are “learning, imprinting, and building on skills and thoughts.”

Other individuals claim that if you “power through it,” any internal discomfort will grow more manageable with time. Though that is easier said than done, changing your viewpoints when your financial situation is much better can only help how you feel.

6. Talk With Trusted Individuals

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Talking with people we trust can be most beneficial whenever we struggle. One user shares that it is helpful to “talk to some financially responsible friends in equal financial footing.” Even if it sounds simplistic, talking with others who are in the same boat financially can give you support and validation.

And if they are trusted and honest, they no doubt help you think twice about any purchases that would be unwise and alleviate any guilt on any purchase considered frivolous.

7. Reading on the Subject

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I will never discourage anyone from reading, especially if it can help someone feel better about themselves. Self-help books are not just about self-esteem or relationships. There are many valuable books available about managing budgets and finances.

Multiple people share some books that they find beneficial. Two such books users suggest are Die With Zero by Bill Perkins and Worry-Free Money by Shannon Lee Simmons. The latter reaffirms the idea of giving yourself a “no-guilt spending budget after all your expenses and savings.”

8. Think About Your Mental Health

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These days, taking care of our mental health is a priority and no longer something we easily discard. If you are feeling guilty about a big purchase but are in a stable financial situation, considering mental health is necessary.

Many assert that allocating money for entertaining things benefits one's mindset “because you should be able to spend some on yourself.” It is true that if you never buy anything meant just for your happiness, eventually, “you will burn out.” Therapy is always a healthy option if getting there alone proves too difficult.

9. Avoid Big Spur of the Moment Purchases

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Avoiding buying things too quickly is one of the most valuable practices for anyone plagued with inevitable guilt. Instead, I always see if payment plans are available and assess how much I like whatever I want to buy.

Another suggests sleeping on it and giving it a week or a month to decide whether to finalize the purchase. I can attest that this practice is helpful. If you are constantly buying things, that leaves less for emergencies should they come up.

One wise user notes that just because they can “afford a lot of things” doesn't necessarily mean they can afford “everything.” That is a very critical distinction.

10. Maintain Monthly and Long-term Goals

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Lastly, maintaining one's goals will help eliminate any stress or guilt you may feel. If you stay on target with monthly and lifetime plans, even when making large purchases, there should be no reason to feel guilty. One person articulates, “if you set a goal to retire by a specific age, then you just need to budget for it. Once you reach your budgeted savings, the rest can be guilt-free fun money.”

This thread inspired this post.

This article appeared on The Money Dreamer.

Marianne Paluso
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