Combatting Spending Anxiety

If you’re a blog fan you no doubt will have come across the “no spend” days/weeks/months movement. Circumstances sometimes mean you will be doing this without even thinking about it. If your spending with a tight budget continue reading, we could get through this together. Recently I’ve come to realise I have anxiety about a number of things one of which is spending and I’m ready to get over it.

What is Spending Anxiety?

Over the last five years (since having children) the income coming into our household has been testing. Maternity leave followed by paying fulltime childcare for two children (equating to 3x my mortgage!) has meant I have had to really watch what I spend, when I spend, and indeed if there is any necessity other than for food to spend at all.

We lived on hand me down clothes when the kids were young. This happened completely by circumstance. We were lucky enough to have friends with older children and then got into a community of other parents whereby children’s clothes get past around, they come back to you when the next baby comes and I really was never without from this very kind gifting.

  • I made use of all items I had already in the house, which is a great exercise in realising what you have, how resourceful you can be and generally generating less waste for landfill.
  • My new found role in life as a mother meant I no longer had time or a desire to drag two tantruming toddlers (who quite frankly get rightfully bored of browsing) for idol shopping, so again this was something I have done without even thinking
  • I became a refurb”aholic, up-cycling everything I placed my hands on. My first point of call for all the equipment I needed for my children or any household items I needed was Gumtree. See how I’ve homed my Gumtree skills here.

Ultimately over the last 5 years my attitude to the true cost of things has shifted. Two little mouths now depend on us. While I value experiences over material objects for my children, they do need some financial support too.

As my husband and I begin to emerge from the battering that is the cost of childcare, we are slowly dusting ourselves down, allowing ourselves very small luxuries by way of rewarding ourselves for surviving the most expensive time of our lives so far. I however am finding that I’m having huge internal arguments with myself over the cost of things. I can’t shake the constant calculating in my head even when spending 13p on a banana! This combined with my new love for less stuff and de-cluttering are causing all sorts of mental conflicts in my head.


I’m working hard to let myself relax when it comes to spending a little bit of money now and again, the steps I’ve taken so far are:

  • Have a set “disposable income” set aside each monthmoney ladder
  • Valuing my time. Some cost saving activities can take time but I’m now valuing the free time I can create by spending a little extra for services and spending that time with my young family.
  • Not to overthink and constantly calculate “why”. I’m telling myself to stop questioning every penny, I often look for justification in the cost of something, I must reign it in.

All this said I still have to balance my incomings and outgoings but it’s nice to give yourself a break sometimes.

If you have any other suggestions how I can get over my spending anxiety please do tell as this is a work in progress for me and I would love to give my overactive mind a little bit of a rest when thinking about handing over my hard earned cash.

Thanks for all your ideas in advance you lovely lot x




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  1. 29/09/2016 / 8:59 am

    To resist the temptation of this I started to use the 10/10 rule.

    It goes a little something like this:

    – If the item you’re buying cost £10 or less, do not spend more than 10 minutes thinking about buying it. This comes in especially handy when you’re shopping online. If you haven’t took it out of your basket after 10 minutes you buy it.

    – If it’s over £10 and you have spent more than 10 minutes deliberating whether or not to buy it, you put it back

    For larger purchases of £100 or more the rule of thumb is to give yourself a week to consider it. This way you don’t waste your time or your money!

    • maybtoday
      29/09/2016 / 8:22 pm

      FANTASTIC! Just the pep talk I needed thanks Thinkingthrifty

  2. 21/12/2016 / 2:35 pm

    I feel your pain, I too get spending anxiety (amongst other anxiety lol) , I can remember before I had my son I used to buy designer clothes and the latest tech. But nowadays the material things don’t seem as important anymore, even tho I can’t afford to anymore anyway 🙂

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