Figuring out my spending triggers

You guys, I have been spending a lot of money lately.  Not just on wedding and honeymoon stuff, either.

Some of it is justifiable – I’m trying to build a warddrobe for an entirely new climate.  I only needed one pair of shorts in CA because it only rarely got hot enough for that, but when it’s 95 degrees out, I changed into shorts every day.  Now I’m trying to get ready for fall and winter, and I just don’t have anything that warm.

Another factor is probably just that I haven’t been tracking finances all that well.  We had a big influx of cash from wedding gifts, so that makes me feel flush with money.  I still haven’t been reimbursed for all of our travel and temporary living, so I expect my savings rate to be low.

However, the shopping doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing, and not everything has been practical or needed.  I think I might know why.

My old boss – the one from California – died about a month ago.  And while it hasn’t impacted me much since I don’t work there anymore, it’s still upsetting.  She died without any family, and some of her work friends were the only people there with her in the hospital when she passed.

She and I had talked about finances sometimes, and she even arranged for her financial advisor to come and give a talk about finances to a group of the 20-somethings that worked for her.  We checked the company out later – they say they prefer to work with people who have net worths over $1M.

But she wore ratty clothes that didn’t fit.  She complained a lot about work, and was only enthusiastic about the one vacation she took every year: a weeklong trip to Hawaii.  I don’t think her simple life made her unhappy, but 30 years at a job you don’t love isn’t exactly the American dream.

She was only 56 and she had millions in the bank and then she died and barely enjoyed any of it.

So I think maybe that’s why, for the first time in a long time, I’m having trouble worrying about saving.  And I know this probably sounds like I’m being a bitch and blaming my overspending on some poor dead woman, but I don’t want miss out on things now just so I can die with a million dollars in the bank.

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5 Responses

  1. It doesn’t sound like you’re being a bitch at all. I think its a healthy balance everyone has to find for themselves. What they feel comfortable saving, and how frugal they can be without making themselves feel deprived or unhappy.

  2. I’m sorry about your boss.

    But I feel the same way about not dying with millions in the bank, unhappy and miserable.

    It’s why I’m tapping into my savings to go traveling when I have the time now, and sans kids.

    It’s $5000 for touring Asia (a bit more maybe if I eat out all the time), and I COULD save the money for more rainy days but I don’t want to because I have a lot saved as is.

    It’s now or never, to take a month off to travel and I’m doing it, even though I am benched right now.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your boss. It really sends a message to realize that yes, some people die with millions and nothing else.

    My spending has shot up recently, but I have no good excuse. At least I’m tracking it and am very very aware that I spent $100+ on make-up this month (um, who am I?!)

    But it has to stop somewhere. Or at least, it has to become something that really adds value to life now as opposed to just mindlessness and carelessness.

    I don’t know. Balancing now and savings is hard, especially when so many things change all at once.

  4. I wouldn’t say you’re being a bitch. Actually, I read this post a few days ago and it really got me thinking. Not about money….but about my job. Will my attitude towards it get any better 20 years from now? Will the hours get any better? No? =[

    As for the money, it’s a very hard balance that I often struggle with, particularly since every now and then I remember my parents are getting older…..and they AREN’T ready to retire. I don’t want to end up like them, and I want to be able to help them when they need it…..but I also want to enjoy myself and NOT be a slave to my money.

    I dunno. It’s tough.

  5. I’ve read a lot of stories lately of someone dying in their 50’s, very sad. It’s not that far off for all of us. I live frugally and save a lot, but I’m not bitter about my lifestyle. I cut out everything to get out of debt and learned that I could live perfectly well without all of that stuff. If I died suddenly I wouldn’t regret the way I’ve “spent” my life.

    I don’t miss the weather in Virginia! Hot all summer and cold all winter, you definitely need a bigger wardrobe for all of those seasons. I should add that to my “cost savings” of living in the overpriced Golden state.

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