Thursday, September 25, 2008

Spending out of guilt

I've been thinking a bit this week about some of the reasons we spend money. Spending out of guilt was really pointed out to me as one I've done in the past . . .

For context, I'm away from home for a few days on a business trip. Do I feel guilty about being away from my family? Heck yeah! After lunch yesterday, my co-workers and I stopped by the gift shop on the way back to our meeting room because there were big signs posted 50% off. Both of them picked up t-shirts and other small items for their kids. I started to do the same. Then I thought about it - my kids don't need anything, and in fact, I'm trying to simplify our life not clutter it up with more stuff. So, I put the items back. Instead I picked up my phone and called them - I know they would rather talk to me than get stuff that I'm buying just because I feel guilty about being gone.

As I thought about it, I realize I often "justify" a purchase out of what is really guilt. My daughter and I are having a "girls" day and she asks for something - do I talk about why she doesn't need it or suggest she put it on her "Christmas list?" Sometimes. But sometimes I just buy it because "I don't get to spend time with her as often as I'd like to."

I'm not saying you should never buy your kids treats or toys, just think about why you are purchasing them - I'm certainly going to try to do so!

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