One of the reasons I believe we were stuck in our financial spiral and weren’t getting ahead was a sense of entitlement. We both work very long hours and I am finishing my fourth degree. That sense of “I am working so hard, I should have something to show for it, or I should be able to buy what I want, travel, and do all the other fun things our friends are doing,” became our go-to. I also believe there is a sense of guilt for always being gone at work, so we treat our kids to nice gifts or vacations that aren’t in the budget unless paid for with a credit card.
I have been listening to several books on financial freedom and in each one, the author cautions against this sense of “entitlement.” In her book, “The Power to Prosper, 21 Days to Financial Freedom,” Michelle Singletary warns against this stronghold. She suggests staying away from the mall or other stores where the temptations to overspend are too great. So, we have done just that.
I know exactly what stores I can go in and get out without being tempted to add anything extra to my cart, and the ones where I feel like an adult in a candy aisle where I can talk myself into some cute throw pillows, or new shoes that are on sale and end up with a cart full of stuff I should be “entitled” to for working so hard all week. I keep a picture of our dream 25th wedding anniversary trip on my phone and when tempted to purchase something I feel “entitled” to, I just look at that and remember, whatever I spend now, is robbing us of our family vacation we would love to go on next year. Changing your entire mindset is not easy, and for us it’s taking quite a bit of prayer and dedication, but if we want to reach our goals and save for our future, then it’s a must