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.