My Bad Money Habit

by Kristina Tahnyak on March 11, 2015 · 8 comments

bad money habit, spending money, overspending moneyYes it’s true.  I’m a financial planner and I have a bad money habit. Can you believe it?  The truth is I don’t always practice what I preach, actually I should say that I don’t always believe in what the bank wants me to tell clients.  Yes, that’s how I should say it.

So what do you think it is?  You know I used to be in a lot of debt, do you think I fell back into my old habits?  I never really mention any vices here, do you think I’m about to confess to an extreme addiction, a la Rob Ford (he’s Canadian too)?  Or maybe I spend my money carelessly on a lifestyle fetish such as latex, do you think that could be it?

It’s no secret

I’m sure the suspense is killing you.  No I didn’t fall back into my old debt habits, no I don’t have a drug dependence and no I’m not into anything relatively close to 50 Shades of Grey – or so I’ve heard because I haven’t actually seen the movie or read the book.  I spend money.

Yes that’s it.  I preach everyday about the importance of saving money for your short term goals and for your future and I don’t even do it, well at least not as much as I should.  What do I do with my money?  I spend it.  That’s my deep dark financial secret, I spend money, more than I should…and I don’t care.  Does that make me a hypocrite?

I know I shouldn’t do it

Some may say yes.  However I don’t see it that way.  In my life from 9 to 5 I tell clients to spend what they need to and save all the rest because it’s very very important to save for your future.  That’s my professional life.  In my real life I like to enjoy my money.  I live in an apartment that costs more than I should be paying for rent, I like to eat out because it’s better than anything I can cook and I like to travel as often as possible.  I spend money, so what?  It’s mine and I can spend it if I want to, right?

Well some people would say no.  Some would say it’s irresponsible to spend money that doesn’t need to be spent if I could otherwise save it.  Trust me I agree.  I think it’s a good idea to save money and the more we can afford to save the better.  I just don’t take my own advice.  I don’t stay awake at night wishing I could change my habits and save more money, I sleep just fine.  What does that say about me?

But I’m OK with it

I think it says for now I’m enjoying my money.  I lived at a bare minimum for many years as I was paying off my debt.  Now for the first time I can spend like I used to without getting into debt (because now I have the money to spend) and it’s very liberating.  I feel that for the moment I’ve achieved financial freedom because I can spend as I want to without restrictions for the fear of getting back into debt and you know what? I like it.

I’m sure this is just a phase and I won’t always be spending money, but for now this is just how it is.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy March 11, 2015 at 8:49 am

Once you reach the point of being out of debt, with an emergency fund and a growing retirement fund, college fund, etc. a person finally gets to the place where if they don’t spend some of their money, what are they doing with it? So you have a nicer apartment than you need, or more clothes than you need….so what? If you are otherwise living in a financially responsible manner, enjoy your money. Why earn it if you don’t? When we told friends we were thinking of building a custom home, they were shocked and exclaimed “what will you have in it that you don’t already?” in a fairly judgmental tone. This from a couple who go on a couple of cruises every year. Don’t worry about spending some of your money. You earned it.

2 [email protected] March 12, 2015 at 1:14 pm

I definitely agree with what Kathy has to say. As I’ve been doing a lot more traveling, I don’t have nearly as much money saved as I used to, but I’m creating and saving a lot of more memories now.

3 Joseph Hogue March 13, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Financial independence is our goal. That means being able to live the life you want and are much happier with your financial situation. I agree with Kathy, don’t worry about spending your money, especially if it’s for a priority. You have to enjoy the fruits of your labor, right?

4 BeSmartRich March 15, 2015 at 8:32 am

As long as financial freedom is achieved, then spending the money is important way to compensate for yourself. It is absolutely needed to keep the sanity of ourselves.


5 EL March 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Granted it is a bit on the hypocritical side to say that to clients and you don’t take your own advice, but for the mean time if debt free I would say enjoy it. If your desire is to be financially independent obviously your gonna need to change that bad money habit to help you in the future. I would say someone who is debt free should easily save 30% of income and still live life very good. If being FI is not your goal then stay on the path your on.

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