Why I Don’t Say “No” to Myself When I Want To Spend Money

I can easily say “no” to other people. But I have to admit that it did take me a long time to learn to say “no” to others. Now, I don’t even think twice. If there is something I don’t want to be a part of, I simply say “no.” Sometimes I don’t even offer any explanation.

However, saying “no” to myself is the hardest thing of all. For a few obvious reasons:

  • I love myself
  • I am quite selfish
  • I don’t want to deprive myself
  • I want to feel good
  • I love spending money

In spite of the fact that I do realize that my finances require a lot of work, I still have problems denying myself the pleasures of shopping. Especially impulse shopping. Especially when I am stressed.

October was another rough month. Guess what I did? I indulged in shopping therapy. It all ended up badly for my bank account and for my guilty conscious. We ran out of money in our checking account between our paydays. This hasn’t happened for a long time.

I, also, was overwhelmed by buyer’s remorse. I am a human being, and as such I am constantly tempted to take the easy path, even though I do realize that this path will not lead me to real happiness.

What I bought in October:

  • Work clothes. I do need work clothes. So I went on a shopping spree and bought some very expensive clothes. I have the great excuse of infiltrating the good ol’ boys club. Therefore, the clothes stay.
  • Biker boots. I agree that this is a very questionable purchase, especially taking into account the fact that I do not ride motorcycles. I love the look and comfort that biker boots provide. The boots stay.
  • Two handbags. Both were returned a week later after I convinced myself that I do not need another handbag.
  • A pair of jeans. I am trying to keep up with the trend of colored jeans. The jeans were returned a week later because I do not need another pair of colored jeans.
  • “The Twelve” by Justin Cronin. I am a big fan of “The Passage”, and I could not wait for the sequel to come out. Kindle edition. Stays.

Besides being a big fan of Justin Cronin, I am also a big fan of Jung and Freud. I perform some self-analysis on a very irregular basis. I do it for different reasons, mostly because I try to understand my impulses better. I try to figure out where that starting point was when all things went wrong.

Reasons I Can’t Say “No” to Myself

  • My childhood. I was born and raised in the Soviet Union. We did not have much. Sometimes I am trying to compensate for things I never had: designer clothes, shoes, handbags. This is how I developed an overcompensation problem.
  • I think I owe myself this. Ever had this feeling? I usually don’t feel that way, but on a very stressful day it emerges, and I don’t suppress it.
  • I love the feeling of spending money. I guess it goes back to where I come from. Once I’ve been poor. Then, much later, I’ve become not rich but, let’s say, much more comfortable than I’ve ever been. Spending money became an award to myself for what I’ve achieved.

It is a constant internal struggle in me, trying to say “no” when I want to go ahead and do it.

Have you said “no” to yourself recently? Share with me your tips!

13 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Say “No” to Myself When I Want To Spend Money”

  1. I say no to myself all the time, and this is something that I’m really working on. I don’t mind buying things for others, but for some reason I always say no to myself!

  2. I say no all the time in fact I say no so much my wife tries to make me say yes. I think part of the reason people don’t say know to themselves is because the feel entitled, think they have more self control then others and basically like you stated like spending money. Say no is hard for some to do.

  3. I also say no to myself a lot, to the point that when my parents give me cash for a birthday or Christmas gift, they have to explicity tell me to go spend it on myself…not my wife, not my house, not my kids…but myself. 🙂

  4. I’ve actually been saying “yes” to myself more often – we had a rough two years, and now we’re finally making “good” money again. I feel like allowing myself to say yes every once in a while is the key to NOT going too far overboard.

  5. I’m like you. It’s rare that I really want something, but when I do (boots, skincare) I will make it happen.

    I’m also bad at saying no to loved ones. I give in to T far too easily, and I fear I’m going to do the same when we have kids.

  6. I’ve struggled with this too. I love to shop and I love to spend money. I’ve had to learn some hard lessons in order to develop even a little willpower. Last year I got very sick and was unable to work. It emphasized for me the importance of having something to fall back on so I’ve learned to say “no” even when I don’t want to. I still miss shopping and probably always will. I still stumble sometimes and spend when I shouldn’t. But I’m getting better with practice. I’m willing to bet you will too, if you set your mind to it.

  7. It can be difficult to tell when normal shopping spirals out of control and actually becomes a problem. Learning to say no to yourself is vitally important. In your case and given your background, it is understandable that you treat yourself a bit more often. Impulse shopping/addiciton can really happen most when you are depressed or lonely so better to talk/listen to people around you if you are fearful that things are getting out of hand. There is some more information here: http://www.internetresourcesinformation.com/?listing=how-much-shopping-would-be-addictive

  8. I really want some new furniture to replace our hand-me-downs and really, really want a projector for our media room. I keep saying no to myself by keeping my larger goals right at the top of my head. In fact, my goals are written down on post it notes that are on my laptop. I rather have my emergency fund back to par and pay off our old house by the end of next year. If I hit certain goals each month towards those overall goals, we can spend extra on the little wants. Good luck!

  9. I say no to myself most of the time. On very rare occasions, I can say yes, but there must be a very good justification to splurge. I tried so hard to reach this point, of saying no but only to myself. I can’t say no to hubby or my kids. Self sacrifice is easier.

  10. I always say “no” to myself regularly. Before I buy a new item, I usually ask myself – “do I need this, or do I just want this?” A few years ago, I have learned my lesson the hard way. I grew up poor and had the same problem you had, but when my mother went through a tough divorce my ability to say “no” came back. For this reason, I can easily say “no” to myself whenever I feel the urge to spend.

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