How can I change my relationship with spending?
January 24, 2013 4:36 PM Subscribe
I want to become one of those people who dislikes buying things and enjoys saving. I'm a real spendthrift right now, but I'd really like to shift my thinking so that paying bills and saving money create pleasure, and buying things other than those expenses creates discomfort or boredom.
Currently, going out shopping will get me out of the house when nothing else will, even if it's "shopping" for cleaning supplies and I only spend ten dollars. I get a sense of relief when I make purchases and then the pleasure of looking at, say, those shiny bright new bottles of household cleaner and sponges, even though I don't neccessarily need them is pleasurable. I also feel like I have achoeved or accomplished something when I buy stuff...
posted by windykites to work & money (32 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
Conversely, I delay paying my bills and I hate having money. I feel really uncomfortable when I have more than about $50-$100 to my name- I feel like I almost need to get rid of it, even if there isn't actually anything I want or need. Whenever I have tried to save money, I make it to about the $500 mark and the bubble bursts, I can't handle it anymore and I spend it. I often put myself into a situation where I'm financially unstable and have to scramble to get by- and though I hate it, there must be a part of me that prefers it because I really struggle to control my spending, even now when I don't earn enough money to sustain myself.
I've brought this up with my therapist but he hasn't been very helpful, and I only have one more session left. I figure this is like an addiction, but I have a powerful distaste for 12-step programs. What I want is to change my actual responses to these stimuli; I want spending irresponsibly to be immediately unpleasant (not just to have unpleasant future consequences), and I want spending responsibly to feel immediately good. How can I achieve this?
Note: I don't need advice on practicalities like what kinds of savings strategies to use or how to create a budget- I need to change how I think and my emotions about money, saving and spending.