As a woman, I am constantly thinking about others and putting their needs before mine. These past two years, I have sacrificed time and money–lots and lots of money–to help my husband focus on building his career as a future firefighter. While he went to school for the firefighter academy, I took on full breadwinning and housekeeping responsibilities. And even now that’s he’s been back at work for almost two months and bringing home a paycheck, we are still struggling to get back on track with our finances.
Trying to invest in yourself is sometimes easier said than done
Our savings took a big hit and I have made it my mission to build it back up again. However, in making it my mission, I have let my personal priorities slide and put my own needs on the proverbial back burner in order to put the needs of my family and home first–not an uncommon female conundrum. We all know that as a woman, it’s often hard to invest in yourself.
I always feel guilty if I spend money on myself. Perhaps it is because I feel like there is always something or someone more deserving of my hard-earned money. For example, my husband and I each get a cash allowance weekly to spend however we choose. My husband has no qualms with buying fast food or energy drinks with his cash, and it would be a miracle if his allowance ever lasted him more than two days.
I, on the other hand, won’t spend my cash unless I absolutely have to–for example, if I’m meeting friends for happy hour. Otherwise, I leave the money in the bank because I know I will be able to use it to pay a bill or purchase something for the house or, better yet, put it in savings.
It’s a sickness really. I’m willing to spend money on anyone else except myself.
Personal goals for 2012: It’s about me
I’ve listed a lot of goals for 2012, but one personal goal I have set is to invest more in myself. Because I deserve to be first sometimes, too. I recently signed up for a half-marathon, which cost $75 up front. That was a huge chunk for us and I thought about it a lot before I actually made the purchase, and then I remembered that my husband had signed up for his soccer league without hesitation, and that was $150. Another goal of mine is to start taking barre classes again. I have finally found a fitness class that I thoroughly enjoy. Unfortunately, the price is pretty steep, but I am forcing myself to find ways to save so that I can invest in myself, my health and my fitness–all very important things.Investing in myself isn’t necessarily a financial investment. Sometimes it means saying it is okay if I don’t clean the kitchen before I go to bed or do the last load of laundry. I’ve never heard my husband stress over the fact that the living room is untidy or that the dishwasher needs to be unloaded. What it really means to invest in myself is that I am giving myself the permission to put my needs first and to say “That’s okay.”