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.
Yes, “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?”