Do you Shame Yourself for Spending Money?

I am addicted to my Fitbit. In fact, when I don’t wear my Fitbit, I will honestly sit on my butt all day. Thus, when I’m without my Fitbit, I get a little frantic.

I’ve lost my Fitbit three times. The last time I lost my Fitbit, I thought, “No! You don’t deserve another one.” Like I was speaking to a young child. Fortunately, I found my Fitbit after scolding myself. But I had the same reaction when I lost my Fitbit charger. Sorry, me, you’ll have to do without.

Let’s consider the following pros/cons:

  • The Fitbit is an undisputed good in my life. Increasing my steps, increasing my exercise are good for my health.
  • I don’t struggle for money. Further, the charger is only $5 off eBay.
  • I can’t use my Fitbit without the charger.

So there are no really cons, and some pretty strong pros. Of course, I finally did buy the charger. I still had to ask myself why did I even question paying $5 for this?

And it made me think, I’ve got some weird shaming issues with money. It wouldn’t bother me to spend $5 on a cup of coffee if I wanted it. But if I have to pay $5 for a Fitbit charger, which will last a lot longer than a latte, and be more beneficial to me, I stop myself. I want to make sure to teach myself a lesson for being disorganized.

But shaming myself doesn’t encourage me to be more organized. So why do I do it?

I think somewhere in my upbringing, I got the American puritanical “shame on you” view of money. Shame on you for needing to spend money. In a weird way, I feel better about shaming myself for spending money. It’s like I’ve punished a guilty party.

I read this anecdote in one of my self-help books. I will try to figure out which. This woman slept around as a way of finding love and she thought to herself, well at least I have my shame to keep me in check. Otherwise, who knows how out of control I would be! But as she worked on herself and diminished the shame, she found she didn’t want to sleep around anymore. So the shame that she thought was keeping her in check was actually the impetus for the activities that she wanted to stop.

Likewise, I don’t think shaming is helpful in resolving our money issues. We shame ourselves because we think it helps to rein in our spending. But if we loved ourselves to begin with, we wouldn’t have to be in this shame cycle.

I don’t have any tips for this – I’m just noting that I noticed this tendency of shaming myself and I’m sure it could be cured with more generosity to myself. I’m wearing my freshly charged Fitbit though.

Then I found my old Fitbit charger the next day. =( No shame though! I don’t need more shame in my life.

Do you shame yourself for stupid money expenditures?




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