Author Topic: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money  (Read 5189 times)

LalsConstant

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Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« on: January 29, 2014, 08:20:15 AM »
So hereís a complainypants First World Problem Iím having.  Donít take it too seriously.
It boils down to this: about a year ago I anticipated an expense I would have this year.  I saved money to address it.  I was very accurate and saved nearly the exact amount I need, as it turns out. 

This money has been earmarked for this expense for months.  I could type out 2 pages of details of all the things I did to check and double check that this was the way to go, but thereís no reason to bore you all.  It's all been planned out, checked, double checked, etc.  I have the money, right here in my account in cold hard cash ready to go.

I have evaluated alternatives and found the expense to be both necessary and ultimately very beneficial for my overall financial picture for the next 3-4 years.  It's money well spent.

So why do I hate that Iím going to spend this money.  XD  It is driving me crazy, I keep going back and second guessing myself.  I mean seriously, I know this isn't rational but I keep doing it anyway.

My theory is that itís $1400, hardly a kingís ransom, but something in me hates spending over $1000 on anything.

I guess itís good that Iíve gotten to a point I hate spending money but this is silly, itís bugging me way more than it should.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 08:25:12 AM »
Yeah, I get that. It's hard to part with money for a lot of us. Myself, I just made a big purchase after years of discussing/wanting it, and I have no regrets, but for a week, I've been avoiding entering the transaction in YNAB just because I don't want to see it in writing that I actually spent as much as I did on something not "necessary."

I think it helps to step back and try to see the larger quality-of-life picture. If it aligns with your goals/values and you've saved the money for it, make yourself move forward.

Ottawa

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 08:27:45 AM »
So hereís a complainypants First World Problem Iím having.  Donít take it too seriously.
It boils down to this: about a year ago I anticipated an expense I would have this year.  I saved money to address it.  I was very accurate and saved nearly the exact amount I need, as it turns out. 

This money has been earmarked for this expense for months.  I could type out 2 pages of details of all the things I did to check and double check that this was the way to go, but thereís no reason to bore you all.  It's all been planned out, checked, double checked, etc.  I have the money, right here in my account in cold hard cash ready to go.

I have evaluated alternatives and found the expense to be both necessary and ultimately very beneficial for my overall financial picture for the next 3-4 years.  It's money well spent.

So why do I hate that Iím going to spend this money.  XD  It is driving me crazy, I keep going back and second guessing myself.  I mean seriously, I know this isn't rational but I keep doing it anyway.

My theory is that itís $1400, hardly a kingís ransom, but something in me hates spending over $1000 on anything.

I guess itís good that Iíve gotten to a point I hate spending money but this is silly, itís bugging me way more than it should.

I don't think it is complainypants.  But, you should evaluate how much you REALLY NEED IT.  Will the purchase of this item give you an ROI that is proportional to its expense? Because, if you stashed the $1400 in a balanced portfolio returning 8% before inflation...you would have about $1900 after 4 years.  So, is the benefit of purchasing this item worth $1900...not $1400.

To make it more painful for you to spend.  If you stashed this cash it would be worth $3000 in 10 years and $6500 in 20 years.  Sorry..had to do it :-)

brandino29

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 08:55:41 AM »
I'm a severe sufferer of buyer's remorse, even when I buy things that I legitimately need. 

Last week, for example, I bought a new pair of trail running/hiking shoes for about $50.  The previous pair I had was literally falling apart, the soles were coming off and there were holes in it meaning my feet got wet in mud and snow.  I bought them probably 3 or 4 years ago for 50 or 60 bucks and have used them like this for months.

As soon as I got back into my car after buying them I felt guilty and thought about taking them back. 

I got over it though, and as I was hiking in snow and 10 degree weather in the woods with my dog yesterday I looked down and was glad to have them, knowing that I'll have these things for years to come, until the soles fall off and they get holes in the sides.

If you know that you'll use it (whatever it is) until it's too worn out to continue using, and you've done your research, and you'll enjoy it, and you set aside the money for it, then do it and know that you'll get over the buyer's remorse in due time.

Mister Fancypants

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 09:01:45 AM »
Big expenses will always hit you hard necessary or otherwise, if you have determined that you need to make the purchase just pull the trigger.

People generally don't think twice about buying a cup of coffee or a candy bar, those items cost anywhere from under a $1 to $10 (if you go to Starbucks etc), but if you bought 280 $5 cups of coffee a year you spend $1400 most people don't think twice about that, but it is the same impact is the single onetime expense of $1400.

You said you thought long and hard about the purchase and it makes sense, but have chosen not share any details on the item itself so you are not looking for any validation on the purchase or you feel you will get "Face punched" for it here, either way you saved for it, you have the money and it is more thought out then the 280 cups of $5 coffee, what type of validation is it you are looking for on the forum?

If you want the forums opinion on whether the purchase is worth it, please post the items details, with your justification for it.

-Mister Fancypants

thepokercab

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 09:03:56 AM »
I'm going through a similar process right now. 

My family has managed to go car free for the last 8 months or so, but with our daughter starting Kindergarten soon, and some additional work responsibilities for me starting to pop up, its becoming clear that we need to add at least 1 vehicle to the picture.  Obviously- our goal is to buy something very practical, and I have the money sitting in my account, ready to go, but damn it if I just don't want to spend it.  I realize this expense is more than justified, but still.  There was definitely a time (pre-MMM) when i wouldn't have hesitated spending money on anything, so I also take solace in the fact that I'm being more contemplative about my spending. 

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 09:12:01 AM »
It seems that you (OP) have studiously avoided disclosing the nature of the purchase. 

There are two reasons I can think of for doing so.  One, you aren't convinced about the wisdom of said purchase and hope to avoid facepunches OR two, you don't want to derail the discussion about your "process" by focusing on the "object".

Is it one, the other, or both (or some other plausible explanation that I can't bring to mind)?

AM

mandies

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2014, 09:22:44 AM »
This post is reminding me of something I noticed after getting on the FIRE bandwagon.

We Mustachians seem to have reversed the "buyer's high" phenomenon through habituation and alternate association. No small feat! So instead of getting a buyer's high when I purchase something unnecessary, I now just imagine another day or week or month of work when I don't have to. It has worked wonders on my discretionary spending.



stuckinmn

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2014, 09:41:57 AM »
 Before most purchases I've recently started asking myself "will you be glad you did this in a year?"  This basically maximizes my long term happiness (as long as I am being truthful and rational with myself which is not always true).

I certainly am not happy about the multiple diet coke purchases made a year ago so I stopped. On the other hand I still have happy memories about the trip my family took to Disneyworld a few years ago and am thrilled I spent that money, though it is equivalent to the cost of thousands of diet cokes.

So ask yourself that question and if the answer is honestly yes just buy it.

Note that I've also found this works for other decisions like whether to exercise, play with the kids when you are tired, etc.

sheepstache

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2014, 09:45:13 AM »
I'm thinking the OP's expense sounds legit.  Maybe a major home repair or medical expense that's highly individual which is why s/he's not posting details.

I recall reading some study about brain responses to spending money and some people definitely appeared to be hardwired to be cheapskates.  While some people got an endorphin high from spending and many people have minimal reactions, cheapskates had strong activity in parts of the brain associated with negative feelings (this sounds suspect; probably I'm not remembering correctly or it was reported badly) in response to even thinking about spending money. 

I'm definitely genetically one of these.  I remember in college hearing about free trips to Israel for people with Jewish heritage.  I went around asking different members of my family if we didn't have some connection, somewhere, to someone Jewish and the answer was no.  I said, well, do you think if on the application I said that I just had a really strong urge to see Israel that that would be enough indication?  My mother was like, that's probably more an indication of your Scottish heritage wanting a free trip.

My point?  Oh!  My point is I sympathize.  I definitely agonize over purchases even though rationally I know they make sense.  Sometimes I plan shopping "sprees" where I get a bunch of needs out of the way at once, because I find once I've "broken the seal," it gets easier to spend money that day.  I have buyer's remorse like Brandino talks about, but there's a natural limit to how much remorse you can feel at one time so getting all of the purchases out of the way at once is better than spreading them out.

While mustachianism could enable people who have a pathological problem with spending money, I actually find the approach helpful.  Rather than the mantra of 'spending money is bad!', the mantra is more that you have to figure out the most effective way to do things.  So maybe it would be helpful for you to calculate the hypothetical cost if you didn't make this expenditure.  I mean, I never want to pay my rent, but it's a lot cheaper than not paying it.

Greg

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2014, 10:15:43 AM »
I think you're subconsciously wanting to ensure that the year of scrimping and saving is worth it.  This is normal and probably a good thing, it took effort to save it up and it will take but a moment to spend it.

totoro

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2014, 10:22:04 AM »
Analysis paralysis?  I get that sometimes.  Usually it means I need a little more time or a push from someone else.

mustachianteacher

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2014, 11:59:56 AM »
Glad it's not just me!

My explanation for why I feel this way is that I always feel a sense of personal accomplishment when I have managed to sock away another $1,000 in my savings account. Seeing the first digit of the balance be one number higher than it was in the preceding months validates for me all the hard work I've done to be able to put away a few hundred here and there. To then take out more than $1,000, even for a very good reason/purchase, feels like defeat. I know it's dumb, but I can't help but think, "Well, that's gone," even when realistically, it's not usually "gone," it's just been applied toward something.

During the fall, for example, we spent $1200 on repairing and shoring up our roof before we had solar panels installed. We had the money set aside for it, I knew the roofer was giving me a fair price and would do good work (he did; he even went above and beyond), I knew it was a wise decision, etc. Just like you, I had analyzed it to death and knew it was a sensible expenditure. But still, it pained me to write the check and see our balance drop.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2014, 12:06:56 PM »
I hate spending money, but it's clear you took a long time saving up and making sure the purchase was really worth it.

It's one thing to impulsively splurge on something (99% it's a bad move). It's quite another to save a long time and still KNOW you need/want it by the end.

Without any specifics, I can't say whether this purchase X is a good thing, but you seem convinced it is.

jexy103

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2014, 05:51:37 PM »
I feel you. I've been wanting corrective eye surgery for over two years, and about a year ago, I started saving for it. It was well worth the financial cost and temporary hassle to never again have to wear glasses 24/7 or deal with itchy, red eyes from my contacts. In December, I realized that I would have enough saved to pay for the procedure in January- I was so excited!! And then I waffled- I enjoyed seeing my bank account balance that high. I put off scheduling the consult for a few weeks while I tried to convince myself to spend the money I had earmarked for this elective procedure. I finally made a consult appointment, they scheduled me for surgery two weeks later (three weeks ago), and I've loved every moment since. I knew it would be worth it, and it totally is!

If you've already run the analysis and figured out the pros/cons of making this purchase, then it sounds like you've done your due diligence. It's not an impulse purchase and you think it will be worth it. If you need to remind yourself, write down your pros/cons or review/recalculate your analysis. Once you "prove yourself right," go out and make the purchase. And then relax, knowing you've made the best decision you knew how to make. :-)

bugbaby

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2014, 07:32:42 PM »
If you don't spend the $$ on the thing, might you regret down the road?

I did that big time. I put off buying a car for 2 years and I had the cash, in which time i spent 000's maintaining my old jalopy that I ultimately ditched for $400 (of which 300 got stolen). OUCH.

G-dog

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Re: Accepting When It's Okay to Spend The Money
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2014, 07:48:12 PM »
I know how you feel!  This year I paid off our house (7 yr balloon mortgage) rather than refinance the last bit.  Good decision and I had more than enough money but writing the check for $31000 ---- OUCH!