For years and years I have been a spender. It would not be an exaggeration to say I spent with reckless abandon with complete disregard for how much I was spending, what I bought, and if I had the cash to cover the purchase. I spent so much and so often that I have next to no recollection what I even bought. Sure, mixed in there were some vacations and a new vehicle but for the most part it was groceries, restaurants, clothing and other day-to-day ‘stuff’ that would come up.
At the time I had no financial goals and certainly no plan guiding my spending… To be honest, I also didn’t think I needed one. Money kept coming so I didn’t see the reason to change anything I was doing. We were living paycheck-to-paycheck and as long as the next pay check came, we were able to keep the wheels turning.
When my husband was laid off from work, the pay checks stopped and the wheels fell off. We had no emergency fund and no idea what we were going to do.
I panicked. We went into lockdown. I no longer had confidence spending even just a few dollars on a jug of milk. I still didn’t have a plan other than feeling anxious and restless over every dollar I needed to part with.
My tendency to be a spender transitioned so fast and dramatically that I went from one extreme to the other. One day I was spending everything (and then some) and the next I could cry every time I had to spend anything.
Over the last decade I worked through a tremendous amount of money baggage and growth. The majority of the growth came from setting financial goals with my husband and creating a financial plan to help us achieve those goals.
Our plan started with setting up an emergency fund so we never have to worry if life throws us a big curve ball, we will be able to handle it financially. We stopped living on borrowed money and broke free of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle by putting together a budget which would get us closer to our long term financial goals while allowing for some adventure and the occasional splurge along the way.
Our savings routine is established and now we have the opportunity to spend a little more freely having paid off our mortgage three years ago. A few weeks ago I had an incredible opportunity to go on a road trip adventure with two friends. We travelled through 3 provinces to see 3 Michael Buble concerts in one week. Writing this makes me giggle because it seems excessive and ridiculous but it was amazing. It was SO MUCH FUN! We talked about everything from our kids, politics and racism, to the plot of Annie Get Your Gun. I am beyond grateful #1 For husbands and children that created the space for us to have this adventure and #2 Having a financial path which has my future-self taken care of but also nurtures a little extravagant adventure too!
If/when you’re debt free, what is your Buble (aka. big splurge)?