Please save me from myself!
I am a 35 year old level-headed father (oh, and a personal finance blogger), and yet I still have those moments where wise spending and self control just fly out of the window. Sometimes I still don’t feel ready for adulthood.
If my son and I spend more than 10 minutes in the Lego store without my wife, we’re going to be in trouble. That’s why she’s my better half.
Seriously, sometimes I can actually feel the good decisions of wise financial spending leave my brain. And what I’m left with is pure . . . animal . . . purchasing . . . power – I have a credit card!
It’s like, I know what the right decision is. I know I shouldn’t spend $600 on the Death Star set. BUT I WANT IT!!
I have a back and forth – back and forth – back and forth argument in my head about how great this would be to build with my son and how awesome it will look when it’s finished, but how unreasonable and unnecessary it is to spend that sort of money on a toy.
And I’m on the figurative edge of the decision, wanting to say “Oh well, just get it. The money doesn’t matter. I can pay it off later.” STOP!!! I just can’t accept that those words are floating around in my head.
Then I bring my son into the decision process. What?! Have you ever done that, ask someone to help you make spending decisions, but they don’t really have anything helpful to add to the decision-making process?
What am I thinking? Sure, like he’s going to say, “Well you know father, that’s a lot of money and I really have enough toys, and we need to pay the mortgage, and then mom’s birthday is coming up, don’t forget about the dentist bills, oh and I want to go to college.”
No Way! He’s just jumping up and down, “Get it, get it, let’s get it, get it, get it, this can be for Christmas and my birthday! Please. Please. PLEASE!!” The wheels have definitely come off.
Slowly, we inch toward the door. Every step farther away from the toy helps me to make a better decision. I keep looking back, but my proximity to the exit helps me keep my wallet in my pocket. We leave – a little sad – but I know I made the best decision.
I have to admit, although 97% of the time I make good spending decisions, I do have my moments. Moments like what I’ve tried to roll out for you here in this post. Moments where I feel like a kid on the inside, yelling to myself, “get it, just get it, it’s going to be so much fun.”
It’s not easy to be smart with money. I guess that’s why I’m blogging, and why I appreciate the personal finance community so much, and why events like FinCon are so amazing and encouraging. I want to help people right their financial ship, and I also need help to stay on the right path.
Hopefully this scene will be encouraging to you. We’re not all perfect. But it IS possible to be smart with your money, to plan for your future, to climb out of debt, and to take control of your spending.
Hope you have a wonderful day!