{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "No matter how much I have I feel uncomfortable spending money. I’m currently 27 with ~360k, a significant amount on average, but less than many here. However, I’m not happy. I can’t justify purchasing anything for myself, and I probably worry about money more than most. This makes me feel paralyzed and miserly. My parents argued about money, and I feel like I’ve internalized that as my own anxiety. I just want to be carefree, and ironically, I think I can only do that by having more.", "post_id": "5edd74e5fdf0a70030f73990", "reply_count": 31, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "5b3f7377ab53db00136f7b4c", "bowl_name": "FIRE Financial Independence Retire Early", "feed_type": "bowl" }

No matter how much I have I feel uncomfortable spending money. I’m currently 27 with ~360k, a significant amount on average, but less than many here. However, I’m not happy. I can’t justify purchasing anything for myself, and I probably worry about money more than most. This makes me feel paralyzed and miserly. My parents argued about money, and I feel like I’ve internalized that as my own anxiety. I just want to be carefree, and ironically, I think I can only do that by having more.

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@OP - to have saved this much you must be financially literate enough to be able to plan what are you big wants in life I.e. age of retirement, type of house, etc. and based on what you already have today and compound interest you can re-estimate what you want.

I am 29. At 24, I finished graduate school with $110k in student debt and ~$10k on 0% APR CC. The past 5 years I have gone to plus $65k. I only went above $100k 2 years ago.

When I look back across these 5 years, the things I regret the most is not spending money on the things I enjoy the most - for me that is traveling. From 18-25 I had visited 28 countries on my own dime, albeit cheappppply. (Aka $4 dollars a night hostels in Slovakia) However, now 5 years later, I have only gotten to 1 more.

A few months ago, due to COVID and approaching 30, I made a plan to myself that I would go to one new place a year. To me that gives life that extra meaning that I know I will always look back on and be happy I did :) you deserve it!

likeuplifting

I used to have a similar problem as well. I think you should start by thinking about what it is you want to accomplish in life, as in what is it you desire that will make you happy (outside of the realm of wealth). Finding meaning in your life from traveling, spending more time helping the community, or even just spending more time doing other things you love like sports or something is huge. Then after you figure that out you need to see if you'll be able to accomplish that in your current job. If not and you aren't too thrilled at your job, then you should start to invest your wealth into passive income, and continue to do so until you have enough to live off of and can focus on pursuing the happiness you have set for yourself. That's basically what I did, except my job has a great work life balance and I like going into work so I never left but still have the time to do what interests me the most.

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$360k at 27 is amazing, don’t sell yourself short. You are doing better than 98%+ of Americans your age. How much do you spend per month?

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I get up in a poor household for part of my life where my mom walked down the isle with a calculated and started putting things back once she hit the cash she had in her wallet. We were penny pinchers out of necessity. I get buyers guilt all the time and was very stingy with money. I hated splitting group meals even if it meant I only spent an extra dollar or two, even when I knew my friends made way less money than me. I hated myself for it as I saw my less fortunate friends be willing to pitch in or help somebody out where I was not. I started working on it little by little. I forced myself to pick up a friends coffee for no reason. They I started “splurging” on $5 items on amazing, then $10, then $20, etc. I have gotten a lot more comfortable with spending money, and I am still saving a good amount when compared to the rest of Americans. Don’t compare yourself to fish bowl people or you will never win. I only have $80k at 27 and that is still AMAZING compared to the rest of America. You could die tomorrow, so work to enjoy today a little.

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I can relate a lot to this. I have around 400k saved but still, I feel insecure. I grew up with my parents always struggling with money and as a result I've never felt "rich" and still stress when I have to go to fancy dinners etc. Over the years, helped by my husband, I've chilled the fuck out tho. I reframed feeling crap about money into bring proud of myself for saving. I've come to accept that, for most things, the cheap frugal approach makes me happy and that's ok. (Hotels, dining, clothes etc) And most importantly i reframed little splurges as investments in myself and my life. Still feel guilty sometimes but I'm getting better at recognizing what's ridiculous behavior and what warrants actually spending.

likeuplifting

I like the idea of reframing splurges as an investment in yourself. I will try that :)

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I think talking to a therapist may help! You can justify the cost knowing that a professional can help with your long-term mental health and happiness, which is priceless. Insurance and/or firm benefits can also help reduce. You may have to try a few therapists before one sticks, as FYI. Some of my friends have gone to therapists who specialize in clients with high pressure jobs so worth considering whether that’s something you want to screen on.

From what you’ve mentioned, it seems like your hesitations and unhappiness come from behaviors around money that you’ve seen and internalized growing up, not anything necessarily about your budgets themselves. So it feels like a “just spend it” or “let it go” approach isn’t going to help address the root cause - a therapist or other mental health professional can.

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Thanks, I appreciate the suggestion.

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Congrats on the progress! But money should be a vehicle to happiness not a chain to drag you down.

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I feel like I’d feel shitty if I spent the money, and shitty if I didn’t. If I spend I’ll be straying from my goals, and I don’t I’ll feel like a slave to those goals. I know I sound like an idiot, but curious if anyone else has dealt with this problematic mindset.

Extra points to the first person who inevitably chimes in suggesting I give them my money to take my mind off of it.

likefunny

Let me invest it for you 🙂

Take a deep breath. Then find yourself a few only financial planner and put together a plan. It cant be done in a single sitting, you need to have an idea for how much you spend now, how you want to live in the future etc.

You want to have a balanced life between consumption today vs in retirement. Working with a good planner can help you with this.

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I try not to compare people, but I don’t know why you thinks it is “significantly less than many here”. For your age you are well well well ahead. Hell, you’re better off than me. I’m older than you, graduated with 0 debt and a six figure salary in a MCOL city.

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This hits me. 32, married, 2 kids. My net worth is around $750k, am on track to have $3.5M by 50 even if NOTHING changes between now and then. But I still find myself struggling to give myself “permission” to actually splurge on the 2 things I REALLY want: to build our “dream/forever home” and buy a fun weekend car. The mental gymnastics I play each day convincing myself and then unconvincing myself is exhausting. I seem so tied up and restricted to keeping a 50% rate of savings and housing costs to only around 20% of net income, that I would feel guilty if I decide to break those numbers.

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You're doing fine, D2. There is a whole industry, and society in general, whose job is to convince you to spend more. Keep fighting✊🏼

What do you really need? The more money I made and saved, I am finding that I need so much less. And if I do want something I feel secured in being able to pay for it.

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SC1 I think this is exactly my problem. I need to work on allowing myself greater variety.

Wow you have it so rough 🙄

likefunny

Maybe you should actually take your vacation and meet other travelers around your age group. You’ll learn that youre doing incredibly well for you age.

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Same! I’m 31, though. I’ve realized that it’s not just about not wanting to spend it, but some problems in how I value it. I now pretty much only use it with friends, etc.

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I’m 26 turning 27 soon. And I don’t even have a third if your wealth lol

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I think this is an issue best to be discussed with a therapist, as you mentioned, it stems from your childhood and a professional will be the best advisor to help you escape certain ingrained patterns of behavior

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