Jun 262009
 

It’s absolutely infuriating to try to get someone to make the decision that’s better for them in the long run but they just won’t do it, especially when it comes to money. Don’t get me wrong, I screw up a lot. But if someone comes along and bonks me over the head and says, “this is the right way to do it” I listen. I was reading this Money Diary over at I Will Teach You To Be Rich and saw the dreaded phrase, “I deserve it”. I commented on it:

I don’t see this is as a financial problem, I see it as a lifestyle/spiritual problem. It sounded a bit like the person in the diary (who I suppose you’re not anymore) has no sense of purpose, no sense of joy of their own in their life so must fill it with shopping. The “I deserve it” bit just set off red flags in my head. Get some goals that you feel really strongly about, get a job that really provides you stimulation and find people who challenge and inspire you to surround you. The existential vacuum, yada yada yada.

Check out http://www.stevepavlina.com sometime if you’re curious what a lifestyle on purpose would be like.

I would like to add: get your priorities straight. How you spend your time and your money reflects your REAL priorities, not what you say they are. If you say that you value spending time with family, friends or loved ones (they can all be mutually exclusive) but you work 100 hours a week (about 75% of your waking time) then your REAL priority is work. If you spend half your paycheque on work-related expenses, then, hey, your REAL priority is work again. It’s not easy but I’ve been gradually pulling my life more into alignment with what I want my priorities to be. An insidious trap is to state something generally enough that you don’t shoot for the best way to fill that value. For example, say you value having fun. Well, you can say that surfing the web or watching tv is fun, but is it really the most fun you could have? What if you had a hobby that made you jump out of bed in the morning and get out there? Be more specific than “having fun” and set the bar high.

I remembered reading a good article on that phrase somewhere so I googled it and found these two articles:

http://teacherfinance.blogspot.com/2009/05/but-i-deserve-it.html

http://frugaldad.com/2008/04/14/language-of-the-perpetual-poor/ (espeically the “I work hard so I deserve it” part a bit further down)

  One Response to “The “I Deserve It” Way to Poverty!”

  1. Good point.
    I tried it today, I had my first affiliate sell on my site, and I thought: ‘I should reward myself.’ But it is I never do, and I couldn’t think of a reason why I should reward myself. I made a 7$ sale, so do I have to spend that money immediatly on a reward? I feel like I deserve it, but it isn’t necessary.

    It is what you say, I don’t get any joy from shopping. And I like that!

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