Why does being broke make me want to spend money?

Why does being broke make me want to spend money? (palomacruz.com)

Today I took my car in to the mechanic’s to get some work done. Brakes, a persistent oil leak, etc. were on the list. At the end of the day I’ve been given the news that the repairs are going to run me approximately $2,000. Talk about sticker shock!

I have the money. Thanks to the fact that I’ve actually spent this year economizing and putting money away, I do have the money. I won’t need to borrow it (as I had in the past) or put it on a credit card (which I don’t have anymore) or not pay a bill (yes, I did that too). I simply had to transfer money from my savings account to my spending account.

It takes me months of budgeting to save $2,000. Honestly, last year I wasn’t capable of saving any money (even though I made the same amount of money). Two years ago I was spending more every month than I made. This year I’m actually being a grown up and responsible with my money. So I do have the money.

I turn 40 in eight weeks. I had planned all sorts of celebratory things, including a weekend road trip and a nice gagdet for myself. I’m going to have to cancel all of that now or risk spending money I cannot afford now.

But I want it! I want it! I want it!

I want the weekend trip. I want the dinner party with friends and family. I want to buy myself an ipad with all the accessories.

The funny thing is that a week ago I was arguing with my family that I was considering not doing any celebration at all. That I didn’t want the hassle, the expense, the work. And, really, what’s wrong with a quiet birthday?

Today, I want all of that so strongly I’m tempted to go out tomorrow and put down deposits, order my toys, pay for everything. I want it all and I know it has more to do with my feeling that I all of a sudden don’t have enough money, that my financial goals are further away, that my decision in a career have crippled my ability to provide a good life for myself.

I often react this way. It’s like how I eat more after going on the scale and seeing the numbers that tell me how bad my weight is. It’s like how I’m less motivated at work after being told that I missed a deadline or didn’t do something that was expected. My reaction is always to do something that makes it worse.

I am the queen of self destructive behavior.

If I can make it through the next week without going on a spending binge, then all will be well. If I can make it to my birthday without going off the rails, then all will be well.

And if I win the lottery, things will be much better. I guess I have the same chances of that too.

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/palomacruz) and (Facebook).

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