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led astray

January 2013

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led astray

growing up poor didn't teach me much

I think it's from my mother. I have some money thatis in the category of "extra" due to it not being allocated for rent or bills over the next 3-4 months. It's not a lot and would be a nice cusion if something unexpected happened. So why is it burning a hole in my bank statement?? Why can't I just leave it there, forget about it, save it for a rainy day? *notes that it IS raining today, quite hard atm* I have always been poor. I know how to live without 'stuff'. But I want it, damnit. I want to be able to play Oblivion. I want an iPod. I want a new wardrobe. I want to be able to eat whatever I want all the time. Want want want. What is this hole I am trying to fill with stuff? It's not impulse control. It's more like compulsion control. Why do I want to spend this money? Why can't I be happy with the games I have and always want another game to play? But if I need to get motivated to do something else, like put my laundry away, I just don't have the energy. Damnit, brain! Listen up. You and I have to have a serious talk about this crap. You are going to have to start entertaining yourself or I will unplug my PC and you will only get internet at work. No more video games. And I'll take away the CD walkman too. You will learn to appreciate what you have or you will have nothing. Complete reset. So settle down!


I have similar troubles - as soon as we have extra, I think of the long list of things on the "want list", and struggle like all hell not to go out and buy them.

It's hard not to treat yourself after long periods of going without.
Not spending money is something that gets learned; it makes sense that not having had the opportunity to practice you aren't well-versed in it. My grandfather has never in his life been able to not spend the money he had on hand, because he grew up in a great depression-era dust bowl farming family and didn't have to later in life. He has an office bristling with electronics, and now lives off his wife's retirement. He's a smart guy, and his life's been materially sound anyway because he went into computers back before it was a college major, but he still can't manage money and he's almost seventy. So you're doing pretty good comparatively *encouaging smile* Hey, my father overcompensates for his parents and still has plenty of times, basically whenever he gets frustrated, when he tries to find something he can buy to make it go away. I think it's human nature; money has no intrinsic value whereas video games do.

Maybe start a savings account and use something like the sticker system? "At the end of the month if the ballence has gone up I get a movie, if it's stayed the same I get ice cream." For me having money in the bank is its own reward, because I'm less stressed. If I can go online and see money in my savings account I don't stress about money because I can see "oh, look, nope, I still have some." Even when it's only a couple hundred dollers, it's a couple hundred dollers that isn't going to change because a check went through.
Hmmm...A topic that was rattling around my head recently as well. More or less. Wanting is basic human instinct, and cannot be denied or killed. Unfortunately it is also was leads we as a race to do some of the vile shit that we do, and I feel should therefore be kept strictly in place IMHO.

All that said, there is lots of stuff that I want. I have a few bucks more than I once did nowadays, compared to the last job and I'm sad to say that I failed on the "keeping want in its place" task. What's the reason for it? *shrug* I dunno, 'cuz you can I guess. It's hard to focus on the future as opposed to the here and now.

What's the hole you're trying to fill? I dunno. For me, it's usually more about distraction than trying to fill a hole. That and wanting stuff.

It's harder to live a spartan life than you may think, but I find it kind of rewarding.

Rambling unhelpfully while at work


It's like food:

If you're starving, then yes you don't worry about treats because you're happy to just get enough food to live on, so that bowl of rice = awesomeness.

Once you've met your basic needs of sustenance, now you start thinking hmmm wouldn't a piece of cake be really nice right now.

Of course it's also the fact that you're no longer starving that allows you to give food to others that are hungry.

It all relates to Maslow's Heirachy of Needs. You should check it out sometime if you want to understand the psychology behind it.

The way you're living right now is probably most similar to dieting. You've been purposefully denying yourself "pleasures" in order to get a benefit (a cushion of money). The problem is that it's impossible to "diet" 100% of the time. Any doctor or nutritionist will tell you that you HAVE to let yourself cheat some of the time or you'll go nuts. The key is having it be the exception rather than the rule.

So you should NOT feel bad about wanting to reward yourself a bit for saving, and like Beth suggested, you should buy yourself a small "treat" but then continue to add to the savings. That way you don't start to resent the money that's just sitting there while you live a miserly lifestyle.

Just my anonymous $.02