Do You Get Judgy About How People Spend Money?
oh money. it is one of the top causes of marital conflict and something that makes a lot of us uncomfortable.
i sometimes find myself getting judgy about how people spend money. i don’t spend hundreds of dollars on shoes or a luxury purses so sometimes my eyes go wide when i hear how much someone spent on a single item. while i cherish my iphone and laptop deeply (both placed in the top things i would grab if there was a fire) the latest technology gadgets aren’t a must for me. i have however, spent thousands of dollars on traveling with my husband over these past few years.
i started thinking about this when i overheard a conversation in a coffee shop between two people griping about how their friends were spending money. one couldn’t believe that one of their mutual friends would spend money to get “yet another master’s degree” and another one of their friends apparently loves designer fashion. they felt these (non-present) friends should be smarter with their money. i found myself sort of agreeing with them, from my corner where i looked busy but was really listening (creeper status, i know).
i recently wrote about my husband and i going to antarctica soon (we will be on the boat in less than 2 weeks!) some people may shake their heads to imagine we would spend thousands of dollars doing all of this travel instead of buying a house or something but to us, it is what we currently value. the memories we are making together while traveling is more important (to us) than owning a home at the moment.
sometimes i think judgement is okay because we are human and that is how we distinguish what we value and what we don’t. regardless of whether we are never judgy or super judgy – we still don’t know someone else’s full story. while we may have certain feelings about how someone spends money, it’s still not really our place to do anything about this because we all value different things.
while i don’t think it’s wise to go into debt to have the fancy shoes or even traveling, i do think it’s a fair point that people are allowed to spend money how they see fit. of course i’d love everyone to be more educated about ways to spend, save and invest money but when it comes down to it – that’s not my place. the only money i have control over is the money i make with my husband. again, it goes back to what we value at this time in our lives.
maybe that’s instant gratification because we’d rather travel than stock pile money for a down payment but as my mom often reminds me “you can always buy a house – but you might not always get to travel like this!” that works for me and my husband and it may not work for you. that’s okay. as long as you and your spouse are on the same page, do what is fulfilling to you. as my grandparents say “you can’t take it with you!” yes, my family is full of good one-liners.
i also acknowledge that we are privileged to be making enough money to have excess to spend on traveling because that certainly hasn’t always been the case. we also make sacrifices in other areas of our life to be able to afford to travel (we really only go out to eat if someone gives us a gift card, we don’t buy new clothes, we don’t have cable, we don’t buy many home decor things and i’m not allowed to go into target unsupervised because my willpower is low there).
i will say that while our big dream for next year isn’t completely ironed out, we have decided to spend less on traveling and start using our money differently. we get that choices and we are utilizing it!
so there you have it, my musings on why it’s normal to be judgy around how others spend money but when it comes down to it, how others (outside of our immediate family) spend money has nothing to do with us.
what do you think?