Oh what a slippery slope…

I wasn’t always a spendy person.  First, we didn’t have much money growing up so I couldn’t very well spend money we didn’t have right? And second, I knew what the value of a savings account was and I knew I wanted one really badly! In fact my first ever time I received a savings account and I got to write “deposit $200 date” and have the bank teller sign it, I was so excited I was practically dancing. I put more money in as fast as I could. I received the left over from my first year in college and part went to savings, part went to checking (and yes, it shouldn’t have gone either of those places but at least I was putting some into savings right?).  I got a job at McDonalds that I HATED but every other week, I loved stopping at the bank and putting money into savings and then some into checking.  I paid myself first!

So what happened to that girl?  Life—first I left a family member borrow money to pay her bills.  She was always going to pay me back and I never really said anything.  And then I started to notice her being able to buy some odds and ends but she still had to come to me for money.  And I put up with it for a few more weeks as I was able to explain it away rather well.  Then I was asked to pay for my brother’s very expensive going away plus his birthday party and I’d be paid back.  A few weeks before I was to go back to college, I asked for something back.  Turns out that on a few shopping trips I went with that family member, I WAS being paid back but I didn’t know it.  She never bought me anything and always asked if I wanted to go to keep her company in the first place but I when I said yes, that meant I was being paid back.  I still can’t find where the logic in that is.  But I didn’t push it as I didn’t want to start an issue. I did stop going on those trips though.

Oh and those shopping trips? Every time I went I came back with something.  When I started to say I didn’t have enough money in my checking account, I was told to pull it from savings—that was it was there for right? I could always pay it back, I reasoned.  Sadly, I didn’t. Oh and that party I helped fund? That came all from my savings.  My savings account went down to $5 really soon.  That was the bare minimum need to keep my savings account open.  My checking account had less than $20 in it.  That’s what I went back to college with and the idea that a savings account was there to help fund my shopping urges.

I’m not saying that my spendthrift ways were anything but my own fault.  It was—I let myself be talked into “loaning” the money, didn’t follow up on payment and then allowed myself to pull money from savings. From there, it just spiraled out of control—well, I did.

Did you go from being a saver to a spender?  Is it just me? And yes, my saving tendencies only lasted a few months but I know that if I would have just followed those instincts I would be in a much better financial state.

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36 Comments on “Oh what a slippery slope…”

  1. queenlbee says:

    I still fight the urge to spend-DAILY-especially on things for the apartment. At least most of your money was spent on giving–it means you are a good person!

  2. Michelle says:

    I went from being a spendy spender to a big saver! It’s hard.

  3. I think I was always a saver and still am. I definitely see how it would be easy to fall into that trap though.

  4. Money Beagle says:

    I love to save. Having a stay-at-home wife and two kids (as well as two cats over the age of 12) has slowed down the saving that I used to take for granted but I still will save rather than spend if given the option. In your case, I think the biggest thing you have going for you is that you recognize the issues and that you have the desire to be a saver. That will help you in the long run.

  5. I think I was always more of a spender than a saver. When I’d save, it was for something that I’d go blow my money on when I had enough.

    • bogofdebt says:

      When I was in high school I know that most of my “saved” money went to buying clothes or random school supplies so I was used to saving up for a goal but then spending everything when I reached that goal, just like you.

  6. I’ve always been a saver, it gets worst every time my income increases. I may need some help spending more.

  7. DebtsnTaxes says:

    I think I’ve always been a saver spender. Saving money until I had enough to buy what I wanted. In the past I didn’t always wait to buy something but I think I’m over that now. I just hate debt so much that I want to put anything extra towards that. I wish I would have saved more when I was younger though.

    I let my brother borrow money from me one time and it strained our relationship for almost a year. We both think it’s a good idea to not do that anymore. Just doesn’t seem worth it.

    • bogofdebt says:

      Oh yes, I’ve learned my lesson about family members and money. I don’t even discuss with that one family member what I make–she tends to think that it’s “free” money for her.

  8. I’m a saver as you already know but I also am leary about lending money to anyone. This is why I never talk about finances with anyone I know. I would rather them think I am getting by then having people asking me for cash. I’ve done it in the past and never gotten paid back. Some people don’t expect to get paid back by friends and family but we do. We worked hard for our money. There has to be a lesson here not just a handout. Thanks for sharing! Mr.CBB

    • bogofdebt says:

      The funny part is I used to loan money to my mom all the time! She’d pay me back with intrest so it never occured to me that another family member wouldn’t. Of course, now I know better. And yes, it is a slippery slope even mentioning “I make blank amount or have been trying to build up a efund”.

  9. I wouldn’t say I’m a spender but I still struggle to save as my two boys seem to eat all our money! Hope they pay it back one day!

    • bogofdebt says:

      We go through milk like no tomorrow because my fiance drinks it so much! It’s not ‘expensive” and it is healthier than other things that he could drink so I only tease him a little!

  10. kathleen says:

    I think I’m a spender at heart. I hate shopping but I have a list of things a mile long that I want.

  11. I think that I’ve gone from saver to spender to saver to spender over and over throughout my life…it just depends on the circumstance. But I think you’re right, it is a slippery slope and once you start spending, you just start spending more. I think of it as s dieter who eats a piece of chocolate cake, then has one more piece, then another, etc.

    • bogofdebt says:

      See I’m really good when it comes to diets and cake–I really can just eat one piece! Okay usually 😉 But if I spend a little or go over budget, I have to really watch it–especially if I go over budget. Then I kind of give up and just spend spend spend

  12. I was an optimistic spender who just thought I’d have more money later and I’d just pay off my debt then. Well, we do make more money today than when we started off, but we also have more kids…and a bigger house. I was just a little too optimistic (read: stupid!) I really was never taught anything about money as a kid! I love my parents and they did a great job, but I think they forgot to teach me about saving money. OR maybe they just thought I’d marry rich?
    -M

    • Me too, I was always an overconfident spender (I’m gonna be so rich!!!) and in the past year I’ve been the non-spender. Even though I am saving now, I can’t be a big saver until I pay all my debt. But it’s nice not to spend although the temptation is always there. I sound like a former addict…wait I am!

    • bogofdebt says:

      My parents I think had that same thought! And money wasn’t exactly spoken of around the house so that didn’t help anything. And I think I had that same “optimism” issue going on.

  13. iwtkangaroo says:

    I used to be at crazy spender! At the mall at least twice a week and always coming home with something. Fortunately my travelling and home-owning goals are much more important to me! 🙂

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