Why do I have such a hard time spending money on myself?

Why do I have such a hard time spending money on myself?

I have a real problem buying things for myself, that I just want, even if I have the cash on hand to pay for it. I guess you could say I am the exact opposite of an impulse buyer. The process I go through to purchase something for myself is crazy, literally verging on a obsessive, compulsive illness.

I start with a vague idea of what I want to buy, then go searching online, I compare items and costs, then create a shortlist, and I research and compare items on my shortlist, watching 3 or 4 video or written reviews to help me choose the best item based upon features, performance and price.

Now I know what I want to buy, and I search online for the best price for my chosen product. So far, you’d think that these are reasonable steps to take when making a purchase, and I’d agree, but… I will literally add the item to the cart, and start the checkout process, sometimes filling out all the details, and then have doubts, and instead of clicking order, I will go back to the cart and delete the items from the cart.

Quite often I will go back and forth, adding to the cart, starting the check out process, only to go back and remove the items from the cart. I have gone as far as ordering the item, and regret it, cancelling the order immediately afterwards, and walk away from my computer, only to think about the purchase again later.

This issue has always been a problem for me, probably related to growing up poor, where non-essential purchases were never made, as we needed every penny for essentials like rent, utilities and groceries. But, since having a family of my own, the issue has gotten much worse, every purchase has to be 100% justified, buying something just because I want it is never a consideration, even if I desperately want it.

So, here is what triggered this blog, I’ve been lusting after a new lens for my DSLR setup, a Sigma 12-24mm F/4 Art, but have been put off my it’s $1,600 price tag, despite being in a position to purchase this lens over the past 2 years, I always pulled back. Today, thanks to re-targeting ads on Facebook, the lens was shoved into my face again, so I started searching and I found it used on for just under $900, listed as in excellent condition. I did the process outlined above, talked in circles with my wife about it, and she got fed up with my self doubt about the purchase and basically told me to just order it.

I did finally pull the trigger, as I’m unlikely to find such a great deal again, at least not without the 180 day warranty that KEH offers. Even now, about an hour after I clicked on order, I am considering canceling the order, justifying this thought with, the lens you have has worked fine for the past 3 years, you don’t need a new one. No-one has complained about the photos from your current, Canon 16-35mm F/4 L lens.

Which, of course are true facts, but I feel limited my my current Canon lens, sometimes, as a real estate photographer, I cannot get the shot I really want as I need to get a little wider than 16mm. The 12mm that the Sigma lens offers allows me to feel better about my own work, allowing me to get the framing a want. For example, sometimes I have to cut a window off, as 16mm is not quite wide enough, A 12mm lens will allow me to get the whole window, and a little wall in frame to create a better photograph.

The big reason I pulled the trigger is that I can sell my Canon 16-35mm to KEH for $500, as it will be redundant if the new (to me) Sigma lens works out, and I have another lens a Canon EF-S 10-18mm, that has been sat in a drawer for many years, which KEH preliminarily offered $120 for, bringing the net cost of my new purchase to about $300, a bargain basement price for a lens with a MSRP of $1,600.

I really wonder why I struggle to buy things for myself, having to justify every purchase, even if it’s something for just $50? I am obsessive about finances, to the point of making myself physically sick, affecting my state of mind, especially affecting my relationships when money is tight.

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