Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Reluctant to Spend?

It seems I'm reluctant to make big purchases.

I have $250 in my "virtual envelope" for clothing, and $190 in the one for haircuts. So why haven't I ordered the two pairs of boots I've been wanting and booked the salon appointment my hair so desperately needs? I've just been putting it off.

I have no problem making little incidental purchases (a cab here, a few iTunes downloads there...). It's not like those don't add up: I budget $45 per paycheck for cabs and (non-Netflix) entertainment, and when you add the biweekly $70 for eating out...it's not like I'm a tightwad. But somehow, making big purchases scares me, and I postpone pulling the metaphorical trigger even when I have the money and know that spending it won't hurt my ability to achieve my goals. It's like once I see a bit sum, I'm reluctant to give up the opportunity to exceed my savings goals. This is one reason I give away the money I budget for charitable giving on a scrupulously at-least-monthly basis: I can give $50 or $100, but it would definitely be harder to give $150 or $200 at a go--it would feel like giving up more, even though the financial reality would be the same.

So is this a useful check on my spending, a counterproductive distraction, or just a quirk?


ispf said...

I feel the same way, except, my hesitation is not for "big purchases" but more for certain categories of purchases. It's probably a quirk, but I think of it as "preferential tightwad-ness" - a fine quality that let's you enjoy life without the risk of derailing your financial goals :)

Empty Spaces Inc. said...

well consider yourself lucky.

the small purchases always add up. unfortunately, i've crossed my hurdle of making large purchases with my insanely expensive watch purchase!