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Spending money on yourself - easy or hard?

(91 Posts)
grannyactivist Tue 30-Nov-21 17:03:41

I want for very little, have no expensive hobbies and the hobby that I do have (family history), I have a subscription for, so when it comes to my birthday or Christmas I never know what to say that I 'want'.

A few year's back I began to fill in YouGov questionnaires - they promise a £50 payment for completing about a million of the things. I decided that when I got my £50 (if I lived that long) I would be wildly extravagant for just once in my life, and treat myself to some really expensive, super quality licorice. In the past I've made similar bargains with myself, but when it's come down to it I've simply been unable to bring myself to spend the money - on me! There's not much spare money and if there is any it usually gets added to our charity donations.

The £50 arrived in my bank a few days ago and I spent two days dithering, but I have spent it ALL on a licorice advent calendar (should have been £60, but I had an offer and got it reduced, with free shipping from Scandinavia).

I can't actually believe I've done that, and I'm alternating between defiance and utter shock at myself. My husband thinks it's hilarious, but is also deeply surprised (and encouraging) that I went through with my promise to myself. It's obscene, I know - and I don't even have the excuse of sharing it, because most of my family dislike licorice. blush

But - I also know that any one of my siblings would spend that much on themselves (and much more) without even giving it a second's thought.

So, what about you? Do you find spending money on yourself easy or hard?

jeanie99 Mon 27-Dec-21 23:42:22

If you can afford something and you would love to have it, buy it.
Why not, life is for living, we earn our money, why not treat yourself.

M0nica Sat 04-Dec-21 09:18:25

My personal expenditure has risen (and fallen) with available income. Any decisions to indulge, or not, have been dictated by that. In the early days of family formation an indulgence would be a magazine, packet of liquorice allsorts and an afternoon to myself. Now I buy several magazines each month and haven't eaten a liquorice allsort in years.

I really sympathise with sf101 about learning to spend after many years of being careful. I had an uncle, who grew up in poverty but whose academic ability got him into the Civil Service where he reached a senior level. He never ever lost the frugality and, almost, miserliness, necessary in his youth. he could be generous to anyone he though tneeded help, but wouldn't spend a penny on himself. His clothes came from charity shops, the house was always freezing and he could never enjoy eating out. he and his wife were childless and a very worthwile charity inherited a lot of money when he died, but i always thought it so sad he, himself could never enjoy the fruits of his labours.

rafichagran Fri 03-Dec-21 10:03:36

I always spend on myself, I have no guilt at all. I love pieces of art, going to coffee shops, eating out, clothes and candles. Mortgage, car and all bills paid, so I can spend on other things including myself.

MayBeMaw Fri 03-Dec-21 09:46:04

After a lifetime being careful with money, I have no guilt about spending money on myself!
My winter fuel allowance went on two warm jumpers and a cashmere poncho, based on the principle that they will keep me warm without contributing to global warming hmm

sf101 Fri 03-Dec-21 09:28:26

Having spent most of my life on a very tight budget, I am only now beginning to realise I can afford to buy myself some quality items. I saved like mad once the kids left home for my retirement and was able to retire at 62 on a small private pension. I now have just one year left before I can claim the state pension and a tidy amount of savings that I have hardly had to dip into because I am so good at being careful.
I now have to unlearn the habits of a lifetime and start spending cos you can't take it with you!

Riverwalk Fri 03-Dec-21 08:47:58

Grannyactivist I was intrigued by the idea of fancy liquorice so had a look at their website - supply is now winging its way from Denmark to DS2 in Switzerland.

I'm always on the lookout for novel gifts that will be used or eaten - not even sure if he likes the stuff but generally likes all sweets particularly Haribos, so I'm sure he likes liquorice especially covered in chocolate! smile

M0nica Thu 02-Dec-21 07:54:16

grannyactivist but you said when it comes to my birthday or Christmas I never know what to say that I 'want'.

Present lists do not necessarily need to contain things that are extravagantly for my own singular benefit. As I said mine may contain household appliances, clothes, things that make life easier (this Christmas, a shopping bag with wheels.). So you can see why I am uncertain about what spending on yourself really means.

grannyactivist Thu 02-Dec-21 01:11:08

M0nica I mean spending money extravagantly for my own singular benefit - and in this instance it won’t even have a permanent or long-lasting use!

GagaJo Wed 01-Dec-21 21:41:48

I love buying my DGS things. But he has got a houseful of toys and doesn't need more clothes. I don't want 'stuff' for myself. So. Saves me money, I suppose.

M0nica Wed 01-Dec-21 21:38:14

I actually not that clear what spending money on yourself means. Clothes and self-care products are necessities. Some domestic appliances and items for the house are not necessary, but are nice to have or make life easier. I would classify my Kenwood Mixer (50 years old) or airfryer in that category. Both were Christmas prsents, that i put on my list.

What about my car? All my cars have been old bangers, but I indulge myself by choosing them for their colour, idiosyncrancies or are for being at odds wth my persona.

And, of course, spending on yourself can mean spending on others, buying things for children because of the feeling of satisfaction you get when your children have something no one else has. That can apply to spending on other people. You can value the approval of certain groups of people and use being charitable as a way of buying the respect and approval you so desire.

So, exactly what do you mean by spending on yourself?

Yellowmellow Wed 01-Dec-21 20:48:00

After being a single mum and not spending much on myself, I do now. Never spend what I don't have, but it gives me pleasure to treat myself and those around me

Shelbel Wed 01-Dec-21 20:06:13

In my previous marriage money was very tight and I had to be frugal (whilst he was out buying 3 motorbikes). Now happily remarried there is more money available and I buy what I need or want within reason. Hubby doesn't like to spend on himself that much and likes to buy me things. I feel spoilt tbh but I don't have expensive tastes, we are not smokers, we don't drink a lot or spend money on holidays etc (if only at the moment!) It is nice not to be counting every penny.

tidyskatemum Wed 01-Dec-21 19:49:58

I’ve always felt guilty about spending money on myself without understanding why and would never buy anything at full price if it was for me. However, since moving to the wild West of Scotland I’ve become hooked on online shopping and looking forward to the next delivery. Most of what I’ve bought is for the new house but I have treated myself to a couple of things I would previously have dithered about for months.

DillytheGardener Wed 01-Dec-21 19:36:49

My husband and I don’t scrimp and save. We are bit tight with food at home and by own brand everything, but then we eat out fairly regularly and spend a —small fortune— bit so it evens out. I don’t buy overly expensive clothes, make up etc but I do buy a lot of it. My parents spent their money freely too so I guess I take after them.
Hope the liquorice was fab grannyactivist

Granniesunite Wed 01-Dec-21 19:22:56

You enjoy. Lifes too short.

SachaMac Wed 01-Dec-21 19:10:24

I don’t like wasting money but as I’ve got older I find it easier to spend a little more on myself. If I’m out and see something I really like or there’s something I need and I can afford it I will get it now and not feel guilty. Like others, I prefer quality over quantity, I don't believe in saving things for best, if I have some really nice perfume I use it, a nice dress I wear it. As long as the bills are paid and you can afford it go ahead and treat yourself occasionally.
I do know someone who would absolutely love a liquorice advent calendar, will have a look at those, enjoy 😊

grannyactivist Wed 01-Dec-21 18:29:30

Thank you for the warning folks!

I absolutely love the salty stuff - and yes, I am aware of the potential for side effects that may necessitate rather more frequent trips to the loo. blush

For those who want to see what I spent my money on - here’s a photo. I got free shipping, plus a free jar, and an additional £10 off, hence £50.

Alioop Wed 01-Dec-21 17:37:38

I used to worry about buying things for myself, but now I treat myself every so often. I live alone, divorced with only my sister as family. She's the one who always says to me when I dither "if you can't treat yourself who else will" and she's so right. I'm glad you spent that money on you, not the house, bills, etc, good on you!

Granniesunite Wed 01-Dec-21 17:37:27

Tmeadow2 flowers.

Blondiescot Wed 01-Dec-21 17:15:03


I find it extremely difficult, and have described it as depriving myself like people deprive themselves of food - though not medically serious like anorexia - but maybe a form of control. I’ve frequently returned things that I’ve bought because’ I shouldn’t have ‘.

This is so me! It's easy to say, just treat yourself - but when you've got that inner voice telling you you don't deserve it, or you can't justify it, then it's hard to overcome that.

grannyactivist Wed 01-Dec-21 17:12:10

So many interesting replies, thank you.

My older sister shared the same poverty stricken childhood as me and responded very differently. She earned a lot of money, but she was very glad to be able to buy anything she wanted. She was quite generous to others in the family, but splurged extravagantly, and often, on things she wanted.

Hetty58 Wed 01-Dec-21 16:48:44

I'm always treating myself to stuff I don't need - but I fancy. In my younger days, I'd never dream of it, everything went on the kids, pets house etc. but now I'm old I deserve it.

MissAdventure Wed 01-Dec-21 16:45:09

It is ridiculous really.
I thought I might treat myself to a pretty cheap necklace.
By the time I'd looked for cheaper and cheaper ones similar, I'd lost the notion, and now I don't want one.

grannybuy Wed 01-Dec-21 16:44:07

I find it extremely difficult, and have described it as depriving myself like people deprive themselves of food - though not medically serious like anorexia - but maybe a form of control. I’ve frequently returned things that I’ve bought because’ I shouldn’t have ‘.

threexnanny Wed 01-Dec-21 16:42:02

My mother couldn't bring herself to spend much on herself. I've now found that I cannot bring myself to spend her savings either as I know how hard she scrimped for it and I didn't earn it.