Budgeting goals

Budgeting has always been an issue for me even though saving hasn’t been.

Since I don’t budget, I hoard my cash with the fear that I will need it for something, but I don’t know what that something is. My mind vaguely thinks that the “something” is some big emergency that I can’t see coming, like some kind of Black Swan event.

I think this fear comes from being unemployed for five years after the 2008 financial crisis. Now I feel I need to not spend and only focus on debt repayment. I’ve been really good at repaying debt and not racking up new debt. But the way I feel about my money is always slightly anxious, like if I don’t keep an eye on it, I’m going to go out of control.

To that end, I subscribed for a budgeting software program. I haven’t used it because I don’t want to see what I’m spending my money on because I end up judging myself and my purchases after I look at my spending, and that feels so, so bad. I also judge my purchases a lot by thinking I don’t get enough use out of items to justify what I paid for them.

My brain seems to tell me that spending on myself is wrong, I’m behind on retirement savings, and that the money I have spent on things has largely been a waste, or could have been used better. I only invest in myself if it’s a course, but I deny myself a lot of nice material goods because I don’t want to spend. In other words, I only spend money if I think I can make it back a different way, and it’s been a joyless ride.

I really want to start using the budgeting app just to experience what it’s like to budget and see where I can get my money to go so I can reach all my goals and don’t feel guilty about buying things/experiences for myself that don’t have anything to do with financial ROI. I want to be normal with my money.

C: Purchased budgeting software subscription in August
T: Knowing how I spend my money is going to be terrifying
F: Fear
A: Avoid using the budgeting tool, look at my past purchases and judge the purchase and myself, think that I’m buying into scarcity mentality by budgeting, wish I could make endless amounts of money so I didn’t have to budget, consider stressful careers to make more money when I think about the things I want, don’t spend money, walk around in old ratty clothes, neglect investing in my appearance or even MY PLEASURE, avoid taking vacations, don’t stay in fancy hotels, let the budget app sit on my phone unopened with notifications stacking up, tell myself I need to budget, get upset thinking about how boring budgeting is
R: Don’t make a plan for my money to do the things I want it to do