We Make $250,000 But Still Feel Guilty When We Spend Money!

March 30, 2023

How do you know when it is okay to spend money and not have “spending guilt”? In this highlight, Brian and Bo discuss how to know if you are at the point where you can spend money without feeling guilty and where that falls into the Financial Order of Operations.


Want to know what to do with your next dollar, you need this free download: the Financial Order of Operations. It’s our nine tried-and-true steps that will help you secure your financial future.


We have a question from Tyler. The wife and I are 30, income is 250k per year, and they’re saving 35 percent. Nice. We grew up humbly and feel guilt after a reasonable vacation or even a night out. How do we drop the poverty mindset and get to one of healthy scarcity?

This is a hard one because, you know, I grew up the same way, super humble beginnings. Early on in life, the decisions we made were out of necessity. We didn’t get to go to restaurants. We did go to restaurants; it was the dollar menu only. Like that’s the only deal. It’s sometimes hard to fight those tendencies. Right? I remember – Brian, I’ll be curious if you agree with us – I used to go to Taco Bell. It’s my guilty pleasure when I was in college and as a young adult. And I kind of just loved it, right? I would only ever order off the dollar menu, and even as I had some success and had some money, and I had some – like, I could spend more – ordering the quesadilla always made me feel kind of bad. Like, ah, it’s four or five – why on earth would I spend that money on the quesadilla when I can go get like two or three things for a buck? You know, I’m not doing that well. It’s a hard thing to fight. So I just want to tell you, you’re not alone. Most financial mutants, a lot of folks who have come from humble beginnings to now having some level of success, I think probably do struggle with this.

I can tell you’re already doing one of the single best things that you can do to fight it, and you’re saving first. You’re paying yourself first. You already said you have a 35% savings rate. That tells me that you’re not living out ahead of your skis. So right now, your desire to be tight and your guilt that you feel when spending money is not the guilt that most people feel when they spend on something, and there’s this inkling in the back of their mind that says, ‘I know I shouldn’t do that.’ Oh yeah, I’m gonna take the family to Disney, but I know I shouldn’t. You’re not in that situation. You know that you’re covering the financial basis because you have such a healthy savings rate.

Now you gotta work on the mentality. That’s a dumb way to say that. You’ve got to work on the mindset to make sure that, okay, it’s okay that I’m spending, and here’s how I know that it’s okay that I can spend this way. Well, at times, you’ve got to be number one. You’ve got to be purposeful. You know, there’s a reason we do the Financial Order of Operations, kind of let you know what’s going on. And Tyler, maybe you want to even do the deep dive and go to learn.moneyguy.com and look at the course because one of the first things we go over, the ground rules, it kind of sets the table for the Financial Order of Operations, and we talk about generosity and other things. But if you’re purposeful and actually know what the ‘why’ is, you’ve actually put some internal thought towards this, which you obviously are.



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