Do We Deny Ourselves More Often Than We Treat Ourselves?
Nicole Dieker

Yes and no. I think one of the reasons I’ve never needed a strict budget is that I just don’t… want much? Not in a virtuous, look how enlightened I am way, but in more of an I-just-don’t-have-many-hobbies way. (Seriously, I wish I were arts’n’craftsy. But alas, I have zero artistic talent.) I know some of that is from growing up without a lot of money (I don’t find shopping fun or exciting or relaxing, I find it stressful, so I pretty much never go in for retail therapy), but even as I’ve had more money that still is the case.

But I definitely have areas of indulgence — I hate cooking, and it causes me a ton of anxiety, so I eat out more that most people do. I could definitely save money by *not* doing that, but it’s one of the areas where I’ve decided to just pay more instead of denying myself meals out because I “should.” (“Should” in quotes per my therapist.)

I also think I like the anticipation of saving and waiting for something like a new phone or new computer (maybe bigger than the splurges you’re talking about, though). So even if I could buy something like that on a card or move money out of savings for it, I tend not to unless it’s an emergency and instead figure out exactly when I’ll be able to do it without that, so when I finally get to, it feels like a triumphant party. So maybe I’m just wired more to get more rewards from anticipation and payoff than from splurging.

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