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how do you loosen the purse strings

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  • how do you loosen the purse strings

    Everyone here knows how to save probably. But does everyone here know how to spend? I can honestly say I think i've been changing a lot in the past couple of years. Before around 2 years ago I had a hard time still spending money. It was hard to spend even though I knew we could afford it. Before it was hard to spend even planned spending. But a lot has changed mostly my mentality.

    I am still a saver. I still like to see my savings grow. But at the same time I have stopped feeling guilty for spending. Instead I think that I've earmarked $X for traveling and it really brings me pleasure. I budgeted $Y for home repairs and I'm going to do it and not put it off. I put in a new driveway for $10k this year and it's been 2 years in the making since we bought our house. First year renovations, then this summer was time. We had to do the renovations first so dumpster and trucks and people could park on old drive way. It drove me nuts when water went into the garage But then the idea of spending so much on driveway put me off a year ago. But this year it was like "hey we budgeted, planned, knew this was coming. It's fine." And so it was. I felt relief and no problems getting the money. Before I might have hesitated to spend but now it's getting easier.

    For me the biggest change was spending on going out. Before I might have felt more nitpicky about going out to eat with friends. But instead now I just figure it doesn't matter it'll work out as long as i'm not being taken advantage of.

    Have you found a way to change from a saving to a spending wisely mindset? What changed?
    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

  • #2
    For me (53 yrs old) the thought dieimg and leaving my estate to my 2 siblings got me to think that I need to spend more on myself and not leave them a windfall. I came to my senses that I need to also reward myself first rather than save like a madman which I still do but to also smell the roses at the same time.

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    • #3
      I go through phases.................. it seems one where i become a very strict saver and then the next phase is "why are you being so difficult to the idea of spending ANYTHING".

      I have more flexibility then many but I still find some times where i am hesitant to loosen the purse strings. I have been trying to reach a happy medium,
      My second challenge is my DH has phases too and they rarely align so when i feel like spending he is in super cheap mode.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Smallsteps View Post
        I go through phases.................. it seems one where i become a very strict saver and then the next phase is "why are you being so difficult to the idea of spending ANYTHING".

        I have more flexibility then many but I still find some times where i am hesitant to loosen the purse strings. I have been trying to reach a happy medium,
        My second challenge is my DH has phases too and they rarely align so when i feel like spending he is in super cheap mode.
        I can totally relate to all of this.

        For me, it's often driven by what's going on in our lives financially at any given time. For example, if I know there is something costly coming up in the near future, like a vacation, even though we have plenty of money to cover it, I'll find myself backing off on spending on day to day stuff. If, on the other hand, we're cruising along well and there's nothing unusual on the horizon, I'll be more "spendy".

        It can also be tied in to income to some extent. If I work a couple of extra shifts one month and know my paycheck will be $1,000 higher than the norm, I'm more likely to suggest going out to dinner or something like that.

        And consumer confidence overall matters. If the market is doing well and our investment account are climbing nicely, I'm more likely to spend. When markets are falling and our portfolio balance is shrinking, I'm more apt to tighten up.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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        • #5
          How do I loosen the purse strings? I hand the purse to my wife.

          Originally posted by Smallsteps View Post
          I go through phases.................. it seems one where i become a very strict saver and then the next phase is "why are you being so difficult to the idea of spending ANYTHING".
          Honestly, I haven't figured out very well how to spend, and especially, how to enjoy spending. But this describes what I go through fairly well, though my "spend" phases are infrequent and short. Oddly, I'm perfectly comfortable with planning to spend, but the act of actually doing so (especially with large expenditures) can be panic-inducing for me. My mind literally flutters for a second when I click "Submit" on buying airline tickets or some other large expense, or even sometimes making random orders on Amazon. Healthy? Likely not. Frankly, I'm a cheapwad most of the time, and every little thing I buy involves a value/quality/needs assessment, from a bottle of mustard to a restaurant meal to a new car. So if I can convince myself that something is a need, and the quality and/or value is good, I'm able to spend a little more comfortably. Otherwise... I struggle with it. My wife is more liberal with spending, but normally spends emotionally vs. intentionally. So bottom line: we both need some work in this area. We're doing great according to our balance sheet. But putting that money to work to enhance our life? Woof...
          "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
            Have you found a way to change from a saving to a spending wisely mindset? What changed?
            Not so much a transition of going from saving to spending, but as long as I'm fulfilling my savings goals of putting away at least 25% of my gross salary to savings/investing, I don't feel too bad about spending or splurging on my hobbies. I still have a ways to go with goals, but I know I'm on the right path for my age. That comfort allows me to sleep good at night, and focus on mental/physical health, career .

            Don't get me wrong, when a repair or emergency comes up, I'm not too happy to give away my money on resolving. When I do purchase an item for Wants (vs Need), I'm pretty particular and thorough for pricing and quality. So its not too difficult to make that purchase. Add to the fact I've reduced eating out to only twice a week, and cut out alcohol, the last few months for savings has been nice, and allows more flexibilty on spending.
            "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

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            • #7
              It usually goes something like this before I spend my savings:

              @%#& It!

              you only live once

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