Even though it doesn’t feel like it, it is Fall. And Fall brings out a nesting instinct in me.
I want to create a cozy space for the winter.
So I spent money. This is not something I generally like to do. But Macys was having a great sale! 20% off clearance.
So I bought a bed in a bag and will soon have a new cozy bedroom. I have an extra check in October. I intended to spend it on a sofa. I have a mostly empty living room with nothing to sit on. But I got distracted by the comforters and one thing led to another. It was a great deal though, so I still have money for the sofa, but possibly not the rug.
Or I may not spend the money. I find the savings account very cozy too. I live in fear of two things – have an emergency without the funds to cover it. And having people judge me for spending money frivolously. Only one of those is sane.
I have no idea why it bothers me what ANYONE might think of the way I spend money. Reality is that they don’t even think about it. But I think I have been self identifying as “poor” for long enough that spending money on unnecessary things feels like I’m a hypocrite. But, I’m no longer quite so poor. I have enough money in every check to save a decent chunk. But I still think of myself as poor.
Perhaps because I grew up without any money concerns. Which taught me NO money skills. When I moved out of the house I was poor. I just didn’t know it. And was constantly overspending and getting myself into financial trouble. Even as I made more money I just felt like I could spend more.
It wasn’t until I became homeless that I recognized the dangers of being poor. That radically changed how I managed money. Now I’m frugal in my daily life. It’s amazing how the daily choices we make can save money. Bringing lunch to work instead of buying lunch. Bringing pop to work instead of buying pop. Not buying every whim. But sadly my biggest savings came because I’m not social. Having a social life can be expensive. I stayed at home, I didn’t go to happy hours or movies or dinners. All of those choices allowed me to live in a very small income but never to save money.
But for a while now I’ve been bringing home more than I spend and have been saving. And also spending more. I go out to eat with a friend about once a month. I have been more willing to buy new clothing. And now I’m thinking of dipping into the savings to buy major things. And the thing that sticks most on that is what other people will think.
Intellectually I know that the savings serves a function and I should preserve this check for the unexpected. But emotionally I’m worried about what the neighbors will think if I have a sofa delivered. They are all financially strapped. It also feels like I don’t belong here anymore if I can afford to buy a sofa? It’s a weird and entirely irrational feeling.
This off projected shame is ridiculous. I’m not going spend based on what other people think. I earned this money, it’s mine and having a living room I can use is not frivolous, it’s just life.