Me + Me = True Love

A lot of people write about how finances are influenced by their relationships. When I’m in a relationship I spend more money on going out to dinner or the movies with my significant other. Married couples often find money to be a major point of contention. Despite this truth, there is one relationship that I can attribute to 90% of the idiotic financial decisions of my past and the slightly-less-idiotic decisions I now make: my relationship with myself.

Like many women, I have struggled with feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem for as long as I can remember. These feelings were really prevalent throughout my time in high school and college. To combat my insecurities I bought many brand name clothes, the newest fashion trends, the best cosmetics, etc. I’m not saying that wanting to have nice things is bad. Making these purchases if you can afford them is fine with me but I could not afford them at the time. There are about 80 trillion people in Toronto driving around with leased luxury cars that they cannot afford. Do they get them purely for the love of fancy cars? Sure, maybe a bit but I’m willing to bet money that the main reason behind this is to combat some low self-worth and to fit in with the many well-off residents of Toronto.

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At some point during university I broke. And I broke hard. I could no longer ignore how terribly I felt about myself and the poor decisions that resulted from it. Once I started to come to terms with some of my issues and work on myself, spending money started to lose it’s appeal. No longer did I feel the need to look perfect and strive to own the best clothes all the time. Feeling good about myself made those feelings start to disappear disappear. I didn’t stop showering and don’t wear the same two shirts on alternating days but I have come a long way in lowering my attachment to materialism. And my bank account shows it!

Looking at why you are making purchases you can’t afford or coveting items that aren’t necessary can help you to get to the root of what is causing your money issues. A lot of the time it’s done to cover insecurities you have about yourself. If you feel that you have self-esteem issues, battling them head-on is difficult. Through taking a hard look at your insecurities and seeing that you are blowing them out of proportion, leaning on those close to you for support, and reassuring yourself often with positive thoughts you can begin to make a positive change. I’ve found reading helpful as well. There are a lot of great books out there that can show you things about yourself you never realized before.

If you can improve your relationship with yourself you will be amazed at how great life can get. It can affect your finances in such a positive way but more importantly you will be a happier person in every part of your life, which is pretty priceless.

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Comments

  1. This is such a simple concept but I definitely feel like it needs to be said more. I have this problem, especially if I watch too much TV or spend too much time with my more well off friends. I start to feel inadequate and then like clock work, I start browsing online clothing stores. It’s a terrible cycle and I’m working hard at avoiding the triggers that make me start this behaviour!

    • Yes, tv and outside influences can make our “evolved” brains think we need things we really don’t to fit in. The important thing is you’re aware of your behaviour and it’s triggers, which is usually the hardest step! :)

  2. Absolutely a great post! Sometimes I get down on how much I spend on therapy a month ($350) then I stop and realize that a few years ago I would spend that or more on clothes, makeup, highlighting my hair, jewelry – every month! And of course none of it actually helped anything. To be honest though,therapy isn’t nearly as fun as clothes shopping :)

    • Thank you Leslie! $350 on therapy is worth so, so much more than double that amount on clothing and hair cuts that won’t help you after the buyer’s high has disappeared. Shopping definitely still has it’s place when the money is available. Good for you for making the great choice to put your money where it matters. :)

  3. I often wonder if the people who look super fancy actually have the money to back it up.

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