If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m going on vacation at the end of March. My oldest friend wanted to get away and I was more than happy to oblige. Travel isn’t normally something I’m super jazzed about because the actual act of traveling gives me a lot of anxiety. But, when a friend wants to spend time with you, you figure it out.
So, imagine my surprise when I clicked the ‘Book’ button and immediately starting having some serious anxiety. At first, I thought it was the dollar amount for the trip as a whole. We’re going to an all-inclusive 7-day vacation in St. Lucia. It’s costing me a pretty penny. Two thousand dollars worth of pennies to be exact. That’s a lot of money. So, naturally, I thought my sweaty-palm, foggy brain, tight stomach response was because of the sheer dollar amount that was leaving my bank account.
I sat with those uncomfortable feelings for a couple of hours before it dawned on me. What I realized was, I wasn’t anxious because of the money – at least not because of what the trip was costing. I realized I was anxious because I am afraid of spending money. Specifically, I’m afraid of spending money on myself.
This was a weird observation for me to make. You’d think that, as a reformed compulsive shopper, I’d have no problem spending money on myself. But, I now realize that compulsive shopping wasn’t actually about spending money on myself – it was about helping myself not have to deal with my problems. It was a distraction from myself and from reality.
If you think about it, most of what we tend to spend our money on is not just for our own direct benefit. I buy groceries to feed myself and Mr. Tiny Ambitions. I pay for car insurance and maintenance costs so we have a way to get to work every day. And, we pay rent so we have a roof over our heads.
On the other hand, this vacation is about me and my friend spending some quality time together and enjoying a tropical destination. Spending that money would only really benefit myself and it was a declaration of my worthiness (in my mind), which was very uncomfortable.
The trip could have cost $500 or even $1000 less than it did and I think I would have had the same reaction to it. I would have freaked out because the trip represents me saying that I am worth taking time off work to unwind. That I’m worth spending my hard earned money on an adventure, instead of just squirreling it away every month in my savings accounts. There’s nothing wrong with saving your money (and that’s how I normally operate). But, there’s something about spending it on a big ticket item like a vacation that just seems so much more public. Booking this vacation was a public declaration that I’m worth spending money on.
I’m still mulling over these feelings and I’m sure they will continue to evolve. But, that’s where I’m at right now.
Aren’t you on a shopping ban?
Good question! I am. But, I revised my rules recently to deal with travel on a case-by-case basis. I sort of had an idea that this trip might happen but didn’t have a hard timeline. I’ll get into how this vacation fits into the shopping ban next week, for my two-month update.
Now, onto some lighter subjects – I’m going on my first ever vacation!
Call for Guest Posts
Since I’m going to be on a beach for the last week of March, I’m officially doing my first-ever call for guest posts! I’m looking for 2-4 posts to help fill in the time when I’m away and to share your awesome voices with my awesome readers. If you write about minimalism, slow living, relationships, personal finance, tiny houses or anything else within these spaces – I’d love to hear from you.
I’d like posts between 800-1200 words, and you’re welcome to include an image if you wish, (alternatively, I can provide a royalty-free one).
I’ll be accepting pitches until March 16, 2018, so I have time to schedule the posts before I’m off to sunny St. Lucia. If you want to ask specific questions or to submit your pitch, please email me at here.
Have you ever felt uncomfortable spending money on yourself? How did you resolve those feelings? Let me know in the comments!
If you missed last week’s episode of Tiny Bites, all about simplifying my morning routine, you can listen to it here.
Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions