Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Judgment Days are Gone

I am a judgmental person when it comes to money. I try not to be, but there it is. Judgment. I (usually) keep it to myself, or at least mention it only to my husband. But it is there, in my head. Thinking of how I would do things differently. Only I am judgmental in a backwards way than normal - I judge when people spend too much money (in my opinion).

I work with a guy who spends money like it's going out of style. He buys $250 jeans, designer leashes for his dog and dry cleans every article of clothing he owns. Sometimes I cannot believe the stories he has to tell. And tell them he does. He's putting it out there, just like I write about our finances. So, arguably, his choices might not be the most prudent. But what do I know? He could have no debt, maxed out retirement savings and a million dollars in the bank. Who am I to judge?

Even if I know the ins and outs of someone's finances, why should I think that I know what is better for them than they do? Why does my mind always jump right to what they should be doing differently to be more frugal? It's a lifestyle choice, and for the most part, their decisions don't affect me at all.

I think that somewhere inside I still see material goods and possessions and outward displays of money as valuable. For the most part, in our society, people are not perceived as "rich" unless they drive the fancy cars and live in the big mansions. When I judge others for spending, I am really just a little jealous. That I don't have money to do that and reach my financial goals. So to make myself feel better, I put them down in my head as if they are being frivolous and wasteful.

I am going to stop doing this to myself. Whenever I have a negative, judgmental thought, I will replace it with this: Those is their personal finances. My personal finances are mine. Hopefully, this will result in a happier outlook overall.


debtfretter said...

Sounds good - definitely a great resolution to have, but I am the same and it's ok to have an initial gut reaction that it doesn't seem sensible to spend so much. Just don't let it get you down. Last night I looked over my oldest posts and its hard to beleve that was all only a few short months ago. We forget our successes pretty quickly but remember how well you're doing and you'll be fine!

Erin said...

Wow, it is so easy to judge others spending when you see them with certain things in their life that you are sacrificing from your own. But you are right...what is right for you is all that matters.

Canadian Saver said...

This is something I need to remember too, that personal finances are just that, personal . I tend to judge my coworkers a lot too, but they do talk about their money problems a lot, yet spend like there is no tomorrow......... Like you, I'm going to try and do better. That's all we can do :-)

JvW said...

df - I can completely relate with forgetting my successes and remembering only my "failures". I beat myself up sometimes and need to remember that I'm still doing OK!

erin - I think that is the ticket - I am giving things up and I judge others who don't have to or choose not to give the same things up.

cs - Then we will both end up better off!

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