It's Okay To Spend Money*

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The prospect of spending money is typically accompanied by a warning.

You need to check your balance before taking any decision.
Are you sure it’s a good idea?
Can you really afford that?
You’ll have to save next month.

More often than not, the recommendations are silent. But you can hear them clearly enough. It’s your inner voice telling you to spend less or to think twice before you buy. Ultimately, the warnings act as a budget advizor, keeping your bank account in the green and make sure that you don’t accidentally dig yourself into a debt situation. However, when the thought of spending has a paralizing effect on you, it’s time to get back control over your inner voice. The fear of money is a real condition and it’s called chrometophobia – it can be debilitating in your everyday life. Unfortunately, more often than not, the fear of spending is self-inflicted. A lot of people feel ashamed to spend money they have worked hard for in the first place. Others are concerned about the risk of buying more than they can afford, and often ends up creating multiple emergency funds to tackle their fear of running out of money. And finally, some are too confused about money management strategies to deal with expenses. They don’t understand how to handle their financial matters and, as a result, prefer to limit the risks of biting off more than they can chew.

The truth about money is that caution should remain a priority. Indeed, you can’t afford to drain your finances during an enthusiastic shopping trip, for instance. However, you should make peace with the idea of spending money. It’s okay to buy things. In fact, it’s even what having money is about:

Because It’s An Emergency Situation

It doesn’t matter how careful you are with your budget. When an emergency lands on you, you need to adapt and get things sorted out as soon as possible. Whether your car broke down by the side of the road or the boiler died in your home, you sometimes face situations in which you can’t afford not to spend money. If you want a quick and effective solution, you’ll have to pay for the repair. Ideally, that’s what your emergency fund is about. But more and more households struggle with building saving funds and prefer to rely on a fast loan instead, as it provides an immediate solution to their problem. Ultimately, it’s never a good idea to delay or ignore an emergency situation. The quicker you act, the more likely you are to get it safely sorted. Delaying the decision or trying to cut down costs can be detrimental to your health or lifestyle in the long term. Imagine trying to get your car fixed on the cheap because you don’t want to pay for a professional repair at the time. Sure, you’re saving money at first. But the car is more likely to break down again.

Because You Deserve It

Life is too short to forbid yourself any pleasure. Even with the best intentions at heart, following a strict budget that doesn’t leave you any room for self-indulgence can have dramatic consequences. You deserve to put your interests first – within reason. Being selfish is not a mistake; it’s an act of self-preservation. When you decide to spend money on you, you ultimately tell yourself that it’s okay to relax and enjoy life. Whether you’re indulging in a shopping trip to your favourite shoe shop or you’re booking a spa appointment, you have to give yourself the right to reward yourself. After all, life is stressful in many ways. The work environment is hectic. You’re feeling drained from helping others. And you’re trying to stick on a no sugar diet. Yep, things can get a little tough. So buying yourself a gift is an excellent way to de-stress.

Because It’s A Once In A Lifetime Experience

There are some opportunities you can’t bear to miss. Travelling is one of them. If you had the chance to visit a foreign country and discover its culture, you should go for it. Imagine that you’re travelling to Peru for work, for instance. Wouldn’t it be a pity to miss out the opportunity to visit Machu P├»cchu? On the one hand, it is going to be an expensive trip. But on the other hand, it’s unlikely you’ll get another chance to visit this iconic site. Seizing the unique opportunities that arise around you is all about knowing when to spend.

Nothing Comes For Free

As Dean Kamen states: “Nothing that has value, real value, has no cost.” The American engineer, inventor,  and businessman understands the value of objects and experience very well, as he’s made his money by maximising the value of his inventions – from the Segway to the first drug infusion pump. But more importantly, what Kamen means is that you can’t go through existence without spending money in the things you need, from food to skills. Spending is the more logical conclusion to leading a life as fulfilling as possible.

Money Exists To Be Spent

While money might seem like a concern of our times, in reality, people have been using cash currency for more than 40,000 years. Trade and exchange have been part of human interactions since the prehistoric times, with individuals learning to swap items as part of a deal. Money is a natural evolution of bartering, enabling groups to trade even if they didn’t have an item to give in exchange for a desirable object. Money facilitates the act of exchange by providing a measurable value. Civilizations have rapidly understood that to progress they need to be able to give something for everything they took. People used shells, stones, live animals, and minerals as a form of currency until the Mesopotamian shekel – silver and gold coins – was first invented. In essence, history lesson aside, money was solely created for the purpose of spending. It’s always been its function to be spent, and not harvested to no use.

In conclusion, it’s time to make peace with your chrometophobia. Spending money is not only a necessity, but it is also part of the natural interactions in the history of humanity. So, give yourself a rest and allow yourself to indulge a little!

*Post contributed by Sam Jones*

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