Hey there. Long time no type-y to a computer screen. Quite a few things have happened since I last saw y’all, but I’ll keep it short a simple:
I’ve hit a lot of money goals since I graduated college. Got out of debt, moved out of my dad’s place, purchased my first time, and even maxed out all my retirement accounts for multiple years in a row. When I do the math, I am currently saving 40% of my total salary (not take home pay) between my 401k, Roth IRA, crypto, and personal investment accounts. It’s more money than I thought I’d ever have in my life, and I’m blessed. However, it’s definitely made it obvious that I’ve been neglecting one thing since I started my financial journey:
“But, how can that be true Andrew? You save so much money, have a home, and even got a shiny new job?” It’s definitely a first world problem, and I know for a fact there are many people out there that would be dying to be in my situation.
Ever since I started my financial journey, I’ve tried to be as lean as I could. This included not going on many trips, eating out as little as possible, not buying myself things that I really want, but did not need, etc. I really tried to cut my expenses down as much as I could so I could save a buck. It was a blessing and a curse at the same time. It taught me what I needed to survive, and what really is the bells and whistles.
Now, I want the bells and whistles. The icing on the cake. The expense that I don’t really need, but that I want. It sound so dumb typing it out, but it’s been really hard for me to spend this money and it reminds me of when I first started saving.
When I started saving money, it was hard. I wanted to go do everything my friends were doing and that I was doing. Eating out, trips, etc. It hurt me on the inside to not do these things, but after months and years of it, it became second nature to me and it wasn’t something that I craved anymore. Now, I have the same feeling again, but in the reverse order: spending money on myself.
I’m worried for multiple reasons, and I think Mark Normand and I feel the same exact way (except he compares it to him buying a smoothie). I don’t feel like I deserve to spend this money because anything could happen. I could lose my home, my job, or go through a life changing event and be like: “damn, I shouldn’t have bought that office chair. I could really use that money right now”. I could be saving the money for when I get older to buy another investment property or assets. If I don’t need it, why should I buy it? I should save up to do some home improvements to increase the value of my condo. So on and so forth…
It has just been a long time since I flexed my spending muscle. After college I flexed it so much, I didn’t flex my saving muscle at all. It’s kind of like someone who only works out their arms, but keeps the skinny chicken legs. Now though, I want the full body workout for money. Saving a good amount, spending enough on myself to enjoy my money, buying some things or donating to charity, stuff like that. It is going to take some time, but it really has to be one step at a time.
Right now it’s hard for me to write this. I feel like someone who’s never met me before might just discount this as some well-off person trying to find something to complain about, but that isn’t the case. I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs, and now that I’m finally at a point in my life I want to have some things that I wasn’t able to as a kid. Get some decent food, some shiny toys, and just live life to the fullest while saving and investing for my future.
You know what they say, there’s only one way to eat an elephant.
One bite at a time.