Do you ever feel guilt or shame about spending money on fun or nice to haves?

I was curious if anyone else feels guilt or a sense of shame when spending money on a nice to have, “fun” experience or thing? I see this come up in some of my circles where money is spent but then after the initial high of the new thing wears off, there is a lingering sense of guilt as one wonders if that money could have been spent better elsewhere.

I know we’re all financially-minded here, so I’d be curious to get your take. Do you feel guilt or shame about spending money on fun things? Why or why not?

My take: I have a line item in my budget solely for misc. items or services, so that’s where my fun spending comes from. I enjoy spending on experiences, but I’ve definitely had to work past feeling bad if the experience wasn’t directly contributing to my savings. I think it’s possible to be fiscally responsible and enjoy the money you’ve worked hard for.


I think we all go through this “buyers remorse” when buying certain things. I personally try to spend less on “stuff” and more on experiences which tend to bring more long term satisfaction.

But my wife and I do give ourselves a small monthly “allowance” that can be spent on whatever we want, no questions asked. That way, we don’t have to feel bad about spending that money.


Yes, I do. but I think that comes from having JUST enough for quite some time, and now that I have some money for extra, I still want to hoard it. And kids… My money tends to go towards the kids.

I have been wanting a paddleboard for years. I love the water, used to love to surf, love to kayak, and have tried paddleboarding and loved it. Well, Saturday I bought one- a decent but inexpensive one- and vacillate between joy over it and kicking myself for spending the money on it. Logically I know it’s OK for me to buy it, but my gut sometimes disagrees. So I took it out on the water and had fun!


Well, you’ve got me there. Like some of you, I definitely believe experiences are well worth it and where I prefer to spend when I can–travel in particular. On the other hand, during the whole COVID experience, I was treating myself with mail order buys, not expensive, but pretty regularly. Of course, these funds could have gone toward debt or one of the savings accounts, but they didn’t and I really don’t feel bad about it even now. You see I felt that as long as I always saved first, and if the whole year was a one-off in my lifetime (here’s hoping), I would go for it. Interestingly, when I ordered online, I found I didn’t go through the whole buy, return, refund cycle like I normally do in physical stores. This told me that the buys were well-thought out because I usually kept what I bought. Maybe I’m justifying.

Anyway, here’s a little tidbit I read somewhere…could it have been on this forum or in the newsletter? You know how I save pennies and coins, well there was this suggestion that when you go to a store and those savings that appear at the bottom of your receipt, to immediately move that amount over to a savings account. The other day, I had $8.02 savings at the bottom of my Kroger receipt, surprisingly because I do the bulk of my shopping at Aldi normally. I moved that wee amount to my Christmas Club account. Small builds to savings are good too. So, in addition to the percentages that are moved normally to savings accounts and the picking up pennies, and the side gigs (I’m retired, guys) I added this little feature to my routine …sort of like a self-directed Acorns!

Let me stop now. I was up all night last night and worked nearly 11 hours today so I’m punchy.crazy. Carry on.


I just took my first vacation since the pandemic began. I spent a little more than I planned to, but I really don’t regret it. Between full-time work and side hustles, I can’t remember the last time I actually let myself take time off.

Since I let myself recharge, I’ve been way better about spending over the past week. I haven’t gotten takeout or done any mindless Amazon shopping.

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@kellyfromkeene I’m glad you bought yourself the paddleboard. Have fun out there!

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Love the monthly allowance strategy, @moore.income!

@kellyfromkeene Glad you got that paddle board! Time for play or exploring interests is equally as important especially in financial journeys that too often feel arduous and exhausting.

@sthom Thanks for the savings strategy!


As an adult I’ve never been able to treat myself to much, I wouldn’t call it shame or guilt…more like fear that I’ll not have enough money to live out my life. Interestingly, the pandemic has relieved some of that pressure. The first thing we did when we felt safe was take a 14 day road trip, visiting family along the way to destinations that were fun. I treated myself to lots of local artwork that strongly represented the areas we visited. We stayed in hotels that were convenient and upgraded first or foremost, rather than worrying about finding the best deal along the way. And, unlike me, I didn’t walk around with a calculator in my hand to track my purchases and expenses so when I was going through my receipts to enter into my budget tracking, I about had a heart attack at how much “fun” I’d had. I felt no guilt or shame because it was part of breaking out of isolation and finally relaxing after being socially restricted for a year. In fact that feeling of relaxing and letting go of some money for fun is still prevalent a few months later. We are fairly newly retirees and it feels good to treat ourselves…finally.


@mintjulep, I’m new to this site. I really want to tell you to truly enjoy the time that you have during your early retirement. You won’t regret it! I retired 5 years ago and spent that time with my husband. He was a homebody and we never did the traveling that we wanted to do. Sadly, I unexpectedly lost my husband in January. Although I really enjoyed spending the time with him at home, I have considerable sadness that we never did the fun things we had always talked about. Best wishes!

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@Linda A I’m so sorry you lost your husband, and sorry you feel some regrets about not doing more things together…we are seeing that happen often around us we age together with our friends and other family. It’s one reason we both retired earlier than we probably had to. We sat down and discussed our ability to keep working which is easy for us. But I hit my 70’s and my other 1/2 is right behind me and we want to do things while we are physically able to do so. Minor age related problems are already creeping in so we know we can’t keep putting off. Thanks for sharing your story to help others and me with pushing forward to enjoy life. I’ve always been frugal, that’s why we could retire when we did. Frugality has turned on me, though. I wasn’t expecting that to happen but I’m not sure why I’m surprised when it’s been a life style! LOL! I’m understanding the phrase “set in their ways” when referring to seniors…that’s true, so I’m having to learn how to be pleasantly uncomfortable when it comes to letting go of money for any reason!