In Budgeting, Discussions, Money

Why do we spend in some areas but refuse to in others?

I find it curious that we will spend all this money on one area of our lives but not in another.

I have so many cases that prove this over and over again, that it really shows just how personal finance and money management really is.

I for instance, like to spend on clothes, style, electronics, but will balk at the idea of buying decorations or extra frills for the house.

Chairs, a table, sure, but decorations? I may like touching or looking a these pretty globes and lamps in a store, but I really have a block when it comes to spending money on decorations.

What I see, is that decorative items with no purpose, means I have to buy it, pay for it, install it, and then dust / maintain it.. and for what?

I guess I’d rather have decorations that are photos of us or photos I have taken, and decorations in my outfit (accessories and jewellery anyone?), rather than on the walls or on tables where I have to move them each time I clean something.

Another area I won’t spend on is taking cabs….

I gave it more thought when Sarah asked about my weird refusal to take one, and I realized it is because of a few things other than just the money for a distance that I could take the metro or walk.

It is also that cabs for me, are inconvenient in some ways over having your own car (or your own legs)..


I have to wait for the cab, the cab arrives and it isn’t really all that clean or pleasant to sit in, the cab is more than likely a sedan and not an SUV, truck or minivan, and this means if I sit in the back and not in front beside the driver (OBVIOUSLY, it’s a CAB), I have a very high chance of getting motion sickness and feeling extremely sick.

I guess those are some reasons why I am so averse to paying for cabs.

I just don’t get the service I am expecting for what I am paying.

I much prefer taking the metro over a cab in this case, although even on public transit some metro drivers are jerk-stop brakers, and it makes me very nauseous to the point where I will get off the train and take the next one to avoid the driver. Or wait for the next bus…

…or cleaning in almost all forms …

One of the last areas I think I won’t spend on, are buying services like a cleaning service, or a nanny (suggested to me by countless people), or even appliances like a dishwasher. A DISHWASHER!!!

I’m just so resistant to any of this because it really just.. doesn’t take that much time for me to clean in terms of what a cleaner would do, I would be nervous about what they’re using to clean the house (we’re a bit crunchy if you haven’t noticed already, so I am not sure suggesting lemon and vinegar would fly well with them), I don’t like leaving strangers alone in my house, and I feel internally, very weird about paying someone else to clean my house.

It’s a psychological block.

I’ll basically just lower my standards of cleanliness. I’m already halfway there with a small child, honestly.

And yet, I’ll buy a crazy expensive car and enjoy every minute I am driving it (really, I hop happily into the car now), and I will spend over $30,000 just on MYSELF for STUFF. Srsly, Sherry? YEAH. SRSLY.

So I find it amusing and interesting to hear what people will spend on and what they won’t.

..and I am not the only one with weird spending blocks

My neighbour for instance, is about to spend about two million on buying two apartments and merging them together, but refuses to buy the cars they really want to drive (they are drooling over mine).

A friend of mine will spend lots of money on pretty jewellery, but balk at spending the same amount on a coat she really wants that she’d wear all the time and what people would see FIRST in a cold-weather outfit.

Coats are my jam, and for me, they’d pull together all outfits, no matter how casual or sloppy.

Jeans and a t-shirt? Throw on a chic coat and you’ve instantly bumped it up a notch.

(I hope I have convinced you.)

My partner is another great example of this.

Won’t spend any money on buying a pair of shoes he wants (to be fair, these boots do cost $2300 by Tom Ford), but he will easily spend $2000 on buying new chairs for the home (which he absolutely did, even though I pay half).

Personal finance is truly personal.

We choose what we think are the right areas to allocate our money to, and as I have always said — Where you spend your money, shows what you care about the most.

That is why each month I post the top 5 spending categories of the month in my budgeting roundups, and the most money you spend on any given item, can easily tell you where you prioritize your life and money.



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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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