Bad Spending Excuse #1

Bad spending excuse #1 —“I work hard.  I deserve this.”

When I hear myself saying these words (or thinking them), I have learned that it is a warning sign.  I repeat — a BIG warning sign!  Alarms should sound and an intervention should commence. Uttering these words means that I am on the cusp of making a bad financial decision.

You will never catch me standing the produce section of the grocery store, contemplating purchasing some broccoli and trying to justify it with, “I work hard and I deserve this.”  Why?  Clearly, broccoli falls firmly into the needs category. I need it and therefore I don’t need a soothing psychological excuse to make the purchase.

bad spending excuse messy moneyYes, “I work hard and I deserve this,” is a very effective self-manipulation tactic.  It means my brain has searched high and low for a logical reason to do or buy something and it has come up empty.  So, once the logic is exhausted it moves on to the emotionally compelling reasons.  I deserve it.  It is a reward for my hard work or some other situation I have endured.  I am hungry and tired and worked hard today so therefore I deserve to go out to a restaurant for dinner.  I work hard so I deserve this vacation, pair of shoes, cleaning service…… insert any luxury item here.  It is a brilliant excuse because it works for just about anything.

I have tried to turn the tables on the “I deserve it” mindset.

If I deserve the good things, then maybe I deserve the bad stuff too.  The credit card bill that comes everything month, I deserve it.  The debt I have. Do I deserve that too? Yep.

Now that I am conscious of the deserving trap I can stop myself and think logically about what it is I am about to do.  I have also realized that many of the poor spending decisions I have made are because of this self-deception.   It is a shame that I did not understand this earlier in my financial journey.

Have you experienced the “I deserve it mind manoeuvre?”

1 Comment


  1. Have I ever! I could have written this post!! I like the way you turned it around. It was difficult to face my contribution to our debt crises (yes, we had many which I chose to ignore because I put the problem back on my husband’s back because I worked damn hard and …. well you know) but once I did I pretty much reformed and got on the band wagon. Now I have to nag coach him to spend less on routine things because he tends to go a bit overboard.
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