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Living with No Regrets

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Today I went to the Verizon store to order my new iPhone since the one I have mysteriously started acting up right around the time the iPhone 6 was released. So clever of them to make cell phones that only last 2 years so that you have to buy a new one when your contract is up.

Because I obsess about spending money, I grilled the Verizon guy about every extra expense. Will I have to pay for postage when I mail my old phone in for my rebate? Is there a catch to getting the rebate? Do you make commission off the $10/month insurance policy? Is it possible not to pay the $30 upgrade fee? He seemed to take my questions in stride, even though I accidentally drank his bottle of water.

Despite my dad’s protests about not going into a more money-making career like medicine, I chose psychology, anyway. I wish I could have willed myself to do something that made more money. I just had a student ask me what career I would have chosen if I had not become a psychologist, and I honestly couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do.

On the one hand, not making a lot of money means I don’t have to feel guilty about living an extravagant lifestyle. But I am still envious of my friends and family for being able to afford things like nice houses and vacations in exotic locations. Although I don’t need those things to be happy, I am still materialistic enough to want them.

I admit, some of my anxiety about money has more to do with my uncertainty about my worth rather than my paycheck. Like a yo-yo dieter who is ever at war with her body, my attitude towards spending ebbs and flows. Once I spent 10 minutes obsessing over whether I deserved to buy a $1 candle. (I didn’t buy it.) Other times I’ve gone on $800 shopping binges to rebel against that part of me that says I don’t deserve a $1 candle.

I am trying to find some balance between these two extremes. I am trying to reflect on what things are worth buying because they make me happy. I hate cooking, so I’ve decided that eating out is worth it. And I love tennis, so I don’t limit how much I can play based on cost.

Last night, after obsessing for 7 months about whether or not to go on a tour of Germany and Switzerland this summer, I decided to take the plunge and go. I can’t deprive myself of experiencing the world until I make more money, because I might not ever make money off my blog. Plus, when I imagined looking back on this decision, I figured that the likelihood that I would regret going was low, but I am almost certain that I would regret it if I didn’t go.

I like the idea of making spending decisions based on regrets. I think I’ll have a much better relationship with money this way.

About Christy Barongan

I didn't know it at the time, but I wanted to be a psychologist so that I could figure out how to be normal. I think many people come to counseling for the same reason. What I've come to learn is that feeling good about myself is not about trying to be normal. It's about trying to be me. But it's a constant struggle for me, just like it is for everyone else. So I thought I would approach this task with openness and honesty and use myself as an example for how to practice self-acceptance.

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Disaster Preparedness | Normal in Training

  2. Pingback: Beginnings and Endings, Part 2 | Normal in Training

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