conscious spending and emotions


I have been looking at my weekly budget, expenses, and savings and I cannot help but feel weird about the entire change.

yep, I used the term “weird”. Only because it defines the situation very well.

There are a number of things that I find weird in this journey of limiting the waste (food or funds), limiting the expenses (fixed or flexible ones), increasing my savings and thus the health of my chequing account (primary reasons I have started this at the first place;  I ran out of cash after buying my home and the unexpected expenses that followed it).

First of all, it is weird that the less I consume/spend the more I am content. Was it not supposed to be the opposite? Feeling deprived? Restricted? Incapacitated?

Second of all, why do I feel less to pamper myself with dining out, books, or convenience, such as taking the cab everywhere? How come I am content with waiting and taking the bus every morning?

Third of all, how come my grocery bill has reduced around 30% though I am not missing anything?

Fourth of all, why looking at my expenses in each category and seeing  that I can actually live on a much smaller budget than even the current one (which is considerably less than the last year’s and the years’ before it)? Has there been no inflation, no increase in my daily needs?

Fifth of all, how come I get a pleasure out of making the best out of my cash by price comparison and following the on sale items each week (I just shop at 3 different stores and the majority of the time at two grocery stores in 10 min walking distance to my house)

And finally, how have I been continuing with this entire conscious spending plan as if it has been something like an interesting game or project that excited me?

Feeling, my friends, make many things weird. I am aware that my emotional health has some influence on my spending and my need for convenience; when I am happy or not stressed or saddened, I am more likely to go ahead with my conscious spending plan. For example, when I am stressed or lack the time, I do not hesitate to take the cab to save me some time. When I am drained or do not feel like going thru cooking a dinner, I am more likely to buy myself a dinner.

In turn, spending less and feeling more abundant and enabled by the increased savings reduce my anxiety and worry for the future unexpected and serious expenses. That has a positive influence on my emotional health. I have more hope and more power over my future expenses. I kind of feeling like I act like a bank for myself… Interesting feeling….

And the fact that I do not completely restrict myself and always have some funds available for “miscellaneous or fun” expenses. I know, for example, every once a while I am okay with buying a book or two and get excited like a little kid. I know that I will never refrain from some of my little indulgences, such as weekend coffee+bagel breakfasts. Even though time to time, I choose to trade these with something that I may like better; such as stocking up certain durable items that are on sale that week. Only because the idea makes me excited. Not because I cannot afford both my breakfasts and purchasing the items on sale.

I also know that every once a while I must make larger expenses, such as for cleaning products or other regular needs that I buy at a store a little bit distant from my home (thus I make the trips to this store only once a while). The weird thing is that I started to feel bad about making such large expenses. I know I need them and will use them; so why do I start to have remorse about spending something like $100 – $200 in a single shopping trip?

I have been thinking about this “weird” feeling triggered by making such a purchase last week and I do not like this; I do not like not liking making expenses that can seem more than what I usually make every week. I do not want  to end up like someone who would not spend her money. I do not want to feel bad about making purchases (the unnecessary purchases are exemptions). I do not want to hang on to my money so much that I would be reluctant to share it with others in need. I do not want to love money so much that it would become the most important focus of my life….

So the irony is that while I am very happy and proud of my budget and conscious spending habits (that I re-formed in the last 8 months or so), I am not happy with making it an important part of my life. Even the number of posts I have made about money, budget, budgeting, savings etc. have increased considerably as I started to make more progress and I got more excited. Even this post is an example of what an important topic it has been in my life and how eager and excited I am to write about it.

Do I not have more important things to get excited about?

I think it is time that I develop and start implementing another challenge/plan to make my life better. Also, it is the perfect time to donate for a good cause.

Yep.

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “conscious spending and emotions

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  1. I think budgeting and finances are incredibly healthy and wise things to think and get excited about! Great post! I’d be curious to know what you think about my most recent financial post.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Tab – onpagetwo.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think it is at all weird. Cutting out the uneccessary expenses improves financial stabilty meaning less stress. That leads to regular savings increasing financial security and that means less stress about money.
    Buying less stuff means less stuff that just clutters up the house.
    I think a conscious decision to cut the expenses forces one to consider what really is important in ones life.
    I cut down on my expenses and found myself feeling more content in the way you described in the above post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! Being able to save for a rainy day has cut down on my feelings of worry too, but it’s good to remind yourself that spending on things that enrich your life (like a hobby or an interest) is also worthwhile. Otherwise I sometimes look around and realize that I go to work and do errands and not much else, and that’s not good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that is how exactly I feel about it too. I thought the priority should not be saving, but saving yet having a meaningful life with enriching things/activities 🙂 I was a little bit scared of losing this and focusing mostly on saving. thanks for your words that reinforced a balanced approach to budgeting 🙂

      Like

  4. Fascinating. I relate to all those points and in turn also go “Huh. I feel the same way/experience the same thing. That is a little weird”. And I think I’m the same on the remorse about larger spending. When I have to stock up on household things or bulk products I feel annoyed about spending so much, and even try and balance it out by taking it out of our regular grocery funds then living super frugally to make up for it. I am particularly like this about household costs, but not personal costs. I wonder why that is. If it helps, I think those that are interested, are interested. People who are interested in personal finance aren’t going to wonder why you don’t talk about more interesting things – budgeting IS the interesting thing. But it’s also a good motivator if you feel like you are now at a good point that you can make the next positive life change. So whatever you decide, good luck and we’ll be here attentively listening! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had to take a little step back from my budget because I was starting to get very upset when things came up that I hadn’t planned for or were more than what I was expecting. I was thinking about it way too much like you. Now I’m trying to focus on the small positives that have come from budgeting. When my kids ask if we can stop for a donut on a Friday morning on the way to school, I can say yes now instead of telling them that I don’t have enough money and I don’t let it stress me out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. this note made a smile on my face 🙂 I loved the fact that such a small act could make a huge difference in your children and the way you all approached money. I am sure it was a delight for them and that made you and them happy. well done. 🙂

      Like

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