- I bought a home this year and I’ve had difficulty buying new household items due to a fear of spending.
- I grew up poor and stayed that way until recently, so I’m used to buying cheap, temporary items.
- Now that I’m more financially stable, I’m fighting those old impulses to make a comfy home for my family.
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As my husband Ian and I prepared to close on our first home, we promised each other that we would stop living as if we were still renting.
Having thrown away the second-hand couches we’d been using for the past couple years, we set money aside for nice furniture that we would expect to last longer than the term of a lease.
We are not especially materialistic people and don’t like to have a lot of “stuff,” but we both looked forward to having the space for practical things we need and enjoy, to really make ourselves at home. Ian and I had big dreams of making our home beautiful and comfortable.
In the process of packing up our former apartment, we tossed cheap, broken kitchen tools and planned to buy sturdier replacements. My husband pointed out that I cook every single day and should have the right things to do it with.
It’s harder to break a scarcity mindset than I thought
This resolution proved hard for me to keep. Picking out necessities like waste baskets, towels, and flatware for our new home, I hesitated over even very basic items.
I’d reach for a $10 stainless steel can opener and then set it back down for a $3 can opener like the broken one I’d thrown away during our move.
While not faced with the frustration of a malfunctioning can opener at the moment and just considering the cost of our trip, one that cost $10 seemed unnecessary — even extravagant.
Several times my husband had to give me a pep talk into buying more expensive, higher quality items that he knew we’d need later down the line. Still, my anxiety over spending ratcheted up with the number of things in our cart.
My anxiety prevented me from buying things I need
We went months in our new house without a wall clock. I talked myself out of spending $30 on a clock by saying that I always had my phone on me anyway and I could just tell the time by looking at it.
But the truth was, I didn’t always have my phone on me. Ushering myself and four children out the door for an appointment, …….