So I fell into a little mad money

I receive a twice yearly stipend at my job. It amounts to almost a month’s pay (or at least almost what I bring home after I dump a ton into my retirement). In the past we have taken this nice chunk and bought flooring (our swiftlock plus from last summer which we still adore), tiled the living room, and bought a sofa and love seat. Oftentimes it also picks up the slack for bills. I have been eagerly awaiting this chunk this time around dreaming of new ceiling fans, moulding for our cabinets, perhaps countertop, or a gently used dining room or bedroom suit from craigslist. Most of my dreams are to improve our home. I don’t feel able to spend this money on myself – I mean solely on myself. This becomes burdensome at times because when Dave falls into money, he has no trouble spending it on himself. He just ordered a Nikon 85 mm lens today with a commendation award from his job. So I get bitter and stew. It isn’t that I resent the purchase so much as I envy the ability to treat one’s self sans the guilt. I have not mastered this. It is not that I want to spend the whole thing – that would be reckless and we do indeed have places that it needs to go. It is just another area of my life where I feel completely unworthy. And truly it is quite the paradox because surely I don’t deserve to casually spend this money. It also brings me face to face with the knowledge that I have no idea WHAT to spend any of it on. So here I sit, and in our home it will be quickly be absorbed.

Any suggestions?



About Ellen

I cannot even begin to describe who I am other than broken in body and soul with a dose of the only Hope there is. If you read me, you will know me.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, family, home, life. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to So I fell into a little mad money

  1. hockamama says:

    suggestion: how about some new threads for that new hot bod? did you not earn that money? then you earned the right to spend it on yourself!

    guilt and sacrifice comes natural to women. I get so upset with myself, so often I would give up the last pickle, diet coke, piece of cake, and make do with something else. but which would you rather be: guilty and generous, or selfish and …happy? okay, maybe not a good comparison. 😕

  2. Beverly Graham says:

    I was intrigued by your comments about mad money, because I’ve swung WIDELY on this issue. I came from a family of nine children born in the 40s and 50s (and one 1963), and the money barely bought food; we wore a lot of donated clothing. Christmas presents were $5 per child (a Monopoly game, for ex.), in an era when dad made $100 a week. I’m 56, never married, and in my early adulthood I stuck pretty closely to the family’s style of scrimping and living paycheck to paycheck. By my late 20s I was making enough for necessities with some left over, making as high as $35K in my late 40s (my all time high, and not all that high by common standards, but still more than I needed to actually live on). Yet I’ve found I continue to live paycheck to paycheck, and more recently got in the habit of “borrowing” against my next check via ATM overdraft. Over the years, I went from having one special treat each paycheck (a meal out, a book, a CD, something cool from the office supply store, one clothing item, etc.), to buying one treat in every category every paycheck. And somewhere along the line I gravitated to eating out 7 or 8 meals a week, which I semi-justified as necessity.
    Possibly being single contributes to my feeling of entitledness, since no one can tell me what to do with my money, but after all is said and done, I realize the spending doesn’t satisfy. There’s just a temporary high when I buy the thing I’ve been wanting (and there’s always a waiting list), but it doesn’t last.
    I recently started taking care of a Down Syndrome adult (age 35) and found she has all the same qualities, but with even less controls and much less money from her part time job. It’s so easy, and scary, to see myself in her. It’s already helping to set some limits for myself. Plus I’m trying to find ways to teach money and math skills to her.
    None of this answers your question, but I’ll add this: is it really that you feel unworthy, or is it because the traditional self-sacrificing female role is in your DNA?
    Last but not least, my suggestion is to spend some money on a hobby you’re passionate about. Whatever that may be…….

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