How my generosity got me $8,000 in debt

This is a guest post from Logan Sachon. Her piece originally appeared at Bundle.com.

I am in debt: $8,000 on two credit cards, to be precise.

The debt occurred over several years, and includes a few periods when I was living off the cards because I was in between jobs. Perhaps $1,000 of the debt was spent on plane tickets to visit my parents on the East Coast, my job on the East Coast, or my friends on the East Coast. But mostly there are just lots of small purchases — a pattern of living beyond my means. All pointed fingers end up right back at me. If I had to pinpoint one personality trait that led to the debt, there was a time when I would have been tempted to say idiocy, but now I'd say generosity: with others, but mostly with myself.

Treating Myself

Sometimes life is stressful. And when it is, I tend to coax myself out of bed with promises of niceties. If I can just get through this day, I can go to the movies ($10). Or buy a new shirt ($20). Sometimes I'll end up at the mall, feeling terrible for no particular reason, and decide that new underwear from the Gap (five for $20) will pick me up. Twenty dollars to feel better is really nothing, you see. Except when it happens almost everyday. Then it's something.

I play the same mind games with food. I can't bear to make dinner (free), but I could eat at the fancy taqueria up the street ($10) and oh, I better also have a margarita ($7), because it will make me feel better. And company would be nice, too. I'll call up a friend to meet me, my treat ($17). So there's $34, spent in seconds.

Picking Up the Tab

I've always been a big fan of picking up the tab: It makes people feel good and loved and taken care of, and that, of course, makes me feel good. Looking through my credit card statements, there are so many restaurant and bar tabs for $20 that should have been $10, or $40 that could have been $20. Each one, the product of me saying: “I'll get this, I'd like to treat you.” I don't regret them all, or any single one, really. What I regret is a mindset that made me feel like I could afford to use money to make people, myself included, happy.

Buying presents for people has long been one of my very favorite things. It's also a talent of mine: I pay attention, and buy thoughtful gifts that people love. One year I spent over $800 on Christmas presents for my friends and family. For my brother, I picked out $60 worth of books I'd knew he'd appreciate. For my best friend, $10 for stationary, $30 for a book about Swedish interiors, $10 for a perfect little ceramic vase. That year, she gave me homemade things: a cup with a hand-felted cozy, a framed embroidery, some lovely soap. I remember thinking that she had won the gift-choosing contest that year, and had likely spent very little doing it. I filed that thought away — money doesn't equal thoughtfulness — and then remembered: I'm not crafty. The next year I spent even more.

Debt by a Thousand Cuts

When I first started using credit (and let's use the language of addiction here, because it's apt), I fully intended to pay back every dollar as soon as I got a better-paying job. And maybe there was a time when I could have done it. If the balance had stayed under a thousand, I could have paid it off over the course of a few paychecks. But the tricky thing about debt is that it adds up. Once there was a balance, it was so easy to just keep on adding to it, and to justify every purchase. For years, every time I swiped a credit card, it was supposed to be the last time. But then I'd have a bad day, and the only thing that could make it better would be $50 haircut. Last one. Promise!

It's always been important to me to make it clear to whoever will listen that my debt doesn't come from extravagant purchases or a shopping addiction, at least not the kind that's the stuff of TV movies. I didn't take a winter trip to Cancun and imagine I'd pay it off someday, and my wardrobe isn't stocked with $200 jeans and $400 boots. My car trunk isn't filled with shopping bags. Sometimes I wish it was: I could return those clothes, sell those boots on eBay, or at least I could look back on a great trip and imagine that it was worth it. But instead, mine is a debt by a thousand small purchases, some meant to bolster my own day, some meant to help others.

An Attitude Adjustment

I recently saw my therapist after a small hiatus, and he asked me how I was feeling.

“It's winter in Portland,” I said. “Take a guess.”

“How is your spending?” he asked me. “Have you been shopping?”

“No,” I said. “I cut up my cards, and I'm paying down my debt, so no, I haven't been shopping. I don't do that anymore.”

“Then no wonder you're having a tough time,” he said.

“What do you mean?”

“Spending money was your main coping mechanism,” he said. “It was how you comforted yourself. And since you haven't been doing that, you must be in a hard place.”

I was taken aback. And then I got it. All those purchases were a pattern. Of being generous. With myself.

Now I'm generous with myself in other ways, though it's taken an attitude adjustment. I have started to cook, which I still can't believe is true, but it is. Sometimes meals don't turn out. But I don't beat myself up; that's another way of being kind. I'm going to the gym, because I know it's one of the best things I can do for myself. That's a fact, even though sometimes it's hard to believe, because it's so hard. But I always feel better afterward. That's another fact.

I'm still generous with other people, but in other ways. For my boyfriend's birthday, there were so many things I wanted to buy for him: new black boots, a leather school satchel, new art supplies, a weekend away. But I couldn't do it all. I really couldn't do any of it. So I talked to him about it, and learned that little lesson that I knew all along but never believed: It's the thought that counts. He said he was touched by my ideas, and would have loved any of those things, but what he most wanted was to spend time with me. I planned a weekend away, and we split the costs.

But the most generous thing I've done is to forgive myself for the debt. I was just being kind to myself. And now I'm being kind to myself by paying it off.

Related articles from Bundle:

  • 7 Things You Should Borrow Instead of Buy, and Why
  • How a Girl With No Money Justified a Five Star Hotel
  • 10 Times When Spending Money Can Save You

Get Rich Slowly and Bundle are experimenting with a “content swap”. There's no money exchanging hands for this. Bundle will send GRS an article and we'll send them a piece. This is the first article I picked to share. Let us know what you think!

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Tazz
Tazz
9 years ago

Omg this could be my story! Thank you for sharing, and good luck w getting out of debt! Truly humbling story.

Allie
Allie
9 years ago

Thanks for sharing this! I’m definitely guilty of this from time to time with food. “If I stay and get more work done, I’ll get Chinese”. Such is the life of a grad student…

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
9 years ago

Best wishes with your debt recovery! I especially liked the last line of this post.

I find it’s easier to justify impulse buys when they’re for someone else. I’ve had to be more careful about my gift spending as a result.

Louisa
Louisa
9 years ago

I find your use of the word “generosity” disturbing. Spending hundreds of dollars on gifts for family members and friends is not generous, nor is insisting on picking up the tab for dinners, drinks, etc. when out with others. Far from generosity, these are desperate attempts to buy love. I’m glad you’re on the road to better spending habits and psychological health, but calling your past actions “generosity” is another form of denial. Language is powerful and life-changing. You’ll heal faster if you change your language.

Crystal
Crystal
9 years ago
Reply to  Louisa

I was wondering when the snarky comments would start- and we made it to #4 woo hoo!
Love the self rightous commenters

KELLY
KELLY
9 years ago
Reply to  Crystal

Actually I agree with Lousia.

I think we can have an incorrect concept of what GENEROSITY is. Our society largely ties it to $$$ and the giving of it without expectation of return.

Generosity IS giving without expectation of return but it doesn’t have to be $$. It can be time, energy, compassion. I think THOSE are actually the commodities in greater demand.

jlg3rd
jlg3rd
9 years ago
Reply to  KELLY

Kelly I agree with both you and Louisa, you just said it nicer.

Megan
Megan
9 years ago
Reply to  Louisa

Wha-? It’s NOT generous to treat people we like and love to the occasional meal or nice gift? It’s actually a way to buy their affection?

Nuh-uh. I think Logan’s generosity is an apt term. I am glad she realized she can do other things to be generous.

And treating one’s self is a slippery slope. It starts off as “I’ll buy myself a cup of great coffee to start a cruddy day.” Then it becomes “I’ll get these nice shoes because I’ve had a rough week.” Etc.

Kudos to Logan for breaking the cycle.

AJ
AJ
9 years ago
Reply to  Louisa

Way to go Louisa. Whatever it is, it’s still generosity because she “wanted” them.. she wanted to pick tabs and give expensive gifts. I’d call myself generous too if I spend money like that on other people… not because I want their love but because I want to be generous in giving gifts.

Jon
Jon
9 years ago
Reply to  Louisa

I agree that the kind of behaviour that got Logan into debt mostly couldn’t be classified as generosity – i.e. generosity to oneself. That seems like a really euphemistic way to talk about bad spending habits.

But picking up tabs and giving gifts to others is the literal definition of generosity, and it’s the very best way to get into debt (if there is a best way).

Jane
Jane
9 years ago

I find I have a similar mindset, only for me it’s often food or drinks exclusively. This can be equally as bad on your wallet, since after a long day with kids, I often itch to go out to dinner (no dishes!). I remember a pretty boring office temp job I had in college, and one of the main coping mechanisms I had was my 2 p.m. pick-me-up of a Mountain Dew and a Snickers every afternoon. It became a bad habit. While the job only lasted a summer, I still remember my psychological need for this sugary drink and… Read more »

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Malls are one of the few public places where little kids are welcome, so it’s a special trap for moms with little kids.

Steph
Steph
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Eating at home isn’t free, you are totally right. But I can eat whole wheat spaghetti with mushrooms and vegetables for about $1.50 a day. Wendy’s will cost my $6 or more. McAlister’s Deli costs me $12. And a sit down meal costs me $15 with the tip.

So, in fact, routinely eating at home can really change the budget.

Dan M53
Dan M53
9 years ago

If you think that “If the balance had stayed under a thousand, I could have paid it off over the course of a few paychecks.” is true, then use the same thought for the larger debt. Pay it off in a (few x 8 ) paychecks. It’ll take a lot of self-discipline for 6 or 9 months, but you can do it. Bookmark the websites for your credit card companies and make a habit to log in and check your balances every day. This will be a reminder that you need to stay motivated in your new behavior. Best of… Read more »

T Hollis
T Hollis
9 years ago

Why is it so difficult to be nice to ourselves, to say nice things to ourselves? I’m so glad you are learning – so am I.

duckie
duckie
9 years ago

oh, perspective: i think you did really well to keep your debt to $8,000 – mine was up to $40,000 at one stage, for much the same reasons. the slow accretion of a thousand sorrows.

thanks for your story it’s the closest articulation of my own addiction to debt (and food), and helps me clarify my own experience.

fwiw i don’t agree with louisa. language is powerful but so are our personal mythologies. i think your New Generosity is healthier than your Old Generosiy, but you just didnt know about that new type then.

Dee
Dee
9 years ago
Reply to  duckie

“The slow accretion of a thousand sorrows.” Very apt phrase. Well said.

Jennifer 2
Jennifer 2
9 years ago
Reply to  Dee

It is very poetic, isn’t it? (And I’m not going to lie, I got special pleasure from going to look up a new word. I’m a total geek)

Jen
Jen
9 years ago

I’d agree with duckie — you were being generous and giving then. But now you’re developing the capacity to be able to practice true generosity, the kind that doesn’t hurt you in the end!

Nate
Nate
9 years ago

Good article! I like how you point out how it’s a mentality. And it builds before you know it. We’ve done that before where we would swipe the plastic and think it was the last time, only to do it again.

Thankfully, we’ve got most of our debt now under control and paid for. It took changing our mindset and making some smart choices.

Raghu Bilhana
Raghu Bilhana
9 years ago

`

Friends who come to you knowing that you will pick up the tab, are no friends at all.

– Raghu Bilhana

MWB
MWB
9 years ago

This was a very thoughtful post. I really liked how you told your story- you’re a great writer!

Best of luck!

Paularado
Paularado
9 years ago
Reply to  MWB

I want to second that. I like your writing and enjoyed your post.

Des
Des
9 years ago
Reply to  MWB

Me too! I thought the writing style of this reader was noticeably well polished. If Logan is not already a writer, she should give some thought to it.

Anne Cross
Anne Cross
9 years ago
Reply to  Des

Likewise — great post. I really appreciate your honesty. This is how I got into debt, too, and am also “in recovery” and it’s so hard, but great to know that there are other people out there in the same situation.

Anne Burner
Anne Burner
9 years ago

This could definitely be me – and to a certain extent, it is. I indulge in retail therapy when I have bad, as well as good, days. The bad days to make me feel better, and the good days to celebrate. I don’t go out often, but when I do go out with friends, I tend to pick up the tab. I’ve been lucky in that I know that I’m an emotional shopper, and can usually rein it in before it gets over a few hundred bucks, and can get it paid off within a couple of months. And then… Read more »

imelda
imelda
9 years ago
Reply to  Anne Burner

I wish I were an emotional shopper, rather than an emotional eater.

At least your vice won’t kill you in the end.

Andrew
Andrew
9 years ago
Reply to  imelda

Depends on what you buy!

Anne Burner
Anne Burner
9 years ago
Reply to  imelda

Oh, I’ve been known to emotionally eat, too. I just perfer to spend rather than eat (most of the time). Chocolate, ice cream, cookies..those are my drugs of choice when that happens. And never made – all store-bought!

Sonja
Sonja
9 years ago

J.D., I like the content swap! Good article. Now I am eager to see what you are sharing with them. Good idea.

Max_From_Liquid
Max_From_Liquid
9 years ago

There’s nothing wrong with being generous; it’s rather noble at that. However, conscious spending is the antithesis of impulsive spending. ANYTIME you want to make a purchase, think:
1) Will I really use this, I mean really?
2) How did I live without it until now?
3) Will I want it in a month? In a week? Tomorrow?
4) How much will it cost me? (How long will I have to work to earn the dollars to buy this?)
5) Can I create a free memory in place of this purchase? Memories last longer; they never depreciate like material things.

Luke
Luke
9 years ago

A free memory in place of a purchase? Sorry, but that sounds like self improvement BS writ large.

So I’m hungry and want to buy something to eat – I’m meant to think about a time I had a nice dinner and *not* get the food?

Glib example I know, but I can’t see how it would work for any example, even prosaic ones such as a book, or a computer game.

Perhaps you could try to think up a negative memory (or time you had buyer’s remorse), but as it stands, your suggestion seems fairly meaningless :p

Kim
Kim
9 years ago

Next time you have the urge to be generous, dontate to a worthy cause. I’ll bet you get a much bigger happiness bang for your buck. And feel less remorse later.

Courtney
Courtney
9 years ago
Reply to  Kim

Just curious, if she was $8000 in debt because she was donating to charities (most take credit cards) would that somehow make it ‘better’?

PawPrint
PawPrint
9 years ago
Reply to  Courtney

I was wondering about that, too.

imelda
imelda
9 years ago
Reply to  Courtney

I’d say yes. But it depends on your definition of “better.”

Actually, that is a fascinating possibility for a social experiment. Imagine using credit cards to donate outrageous amounts to charities, and then never paying back the debt. Essentially you’d be robbing the wealthy credit card companies to help the poor.

Social redistribution, Robin Hood style!

Jan
Jan
9 years ago
Reply to  imelda

We ARE the bank. When someone doesn’t pay them back- our rates go up.

imelda
imelda
9 years ago
Reply to  imelda

Even better!

(also: hardly accurate!)

Crystal
Crystal
9 years ago
Reply to  Courtney

…or if she was 8k in the hole for traveling the world?….

AD
AD
9 years ago

Thanks for sharing your story. I can relate in a lot of ways. I really do love thinking up the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones, but it’s just not prudent to actually buy most of them (though I used to). I disagree with the earlier comment that you’re trying to “buy love.” I want to buy things for people like my mom and dad, husband, dearest friends–I already have their love, no question. It’s more that I see something that so fits their personality and interests, and I want them to have that thing (or that experience). But… Read more »

beth
beth
9 years ago

Even if you CAN afford it, it’s a mistake to think that you can use money to make people, yourself included, happy.

imelda
imelda
9 years ago
Reply to  beth

https://www.getrichslowly.org/how-to-spend-your-way-to-happiness-part-one/

(PS: I’m not saying I disagree with you; there just happens to be an interesting, opposing POV from this very blog!)

Jeffrey
Jeffrey
9 years ago

I thought this was a well-written little story with a good lesson. Credit card debt is certainly not anything new, but I enjoyed the writing style and would like to hear more from Bundle.

Pamela
Pamela
9 years ago

Isn’t it interesting that some of the “treats” we allow ourselves under stress don’t really make us feel better at all?

That’s the lesson I need to keep learning. The quick, greasy meal I grab after working til 9 p.m. is not faster, tastier, cheaper, or more nutritious than the asparagus omelet I could whip up in 5 minutes. Maybe I should print this comment and place it in my wallet. 🙂

Dawn
Dawn
9 years ago

Like I’ve seen from a few other comments already – this could totally be my story. At one point my credit card debt was up to almost $14,000. That’s a lot of money! The worst part was that we had sold a house and made a great profit on it. Unfortunately, at that time I thought it was better to have money in the bank than to pay off the debt. Big mistake on my part. The good news is that hard work and JD’s snowball method paid off and we paid off the last bit of credit card debt… Read more »

Kevin M
Kevin M
9 years ago

Good luck to you! Paying off that $8k will feel way better than any thing you’ve bought to get to that balance. Just keep that in mind.

Tanya
Tanya
9 years ago

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said: “I don’t regret them all, or any single one, really. What I regret is a mindset that made me feel like I could afford to use money to make people, myself included, happy.” Like you, I like to buy gifts for people. And I don’t ever regret spending the money. We all show affection differently and for some people, like you and I, buying a gift is the way we express affection. It is not an attempt to buy love. However, the way we express affection needs to… Read more »

KS
KS
9 years ago

Your story reminded me of my husband’s before we met – he’d use his credit card for a $10 book here, a meal or drink out there. Next month, he’d pay it off, but be cash poor. So daily expenses started going on the credit card – groceries, gas, etc. And the cycle continued for way too long. Congrats on breaking the cycle.

I love the way you ended this story – that paying off your debt is the the kindest thing you can do for yourself.

Rita
Rita
9 years ago

I think we must be related. 🙂 I am a single mom and honestly my daughter helped me to see my ways more than anyone. I was $7,000 in credit card debt. I kept thinking as soon as college is finished I will have a good job and pay it back. We needed gas and food and had little money. Plus I loved buying extras for my daughter. My thoughts were we had suffered enough and needed some fun. Which was true. I taught my daughter all about Mary Hunt and Cheapskate living and she followed the book carefully. I… Read more »

Megan E.
Megan E.
9 years ago
Reply to  Rita

I really like this comment. I wish my mother would relate with me like you did with your daughter. Like you, she taught me a lot about being financially secure, independent, and careful. But then she’s also had issues with giving to her children. And it’s really hard to say no to your mother wanting to give you money and gifts! Last year though, she had to get a new car (emergency) and had no money to even float until she got the insurance check! I had to lend her $7,000. Fast forward a year – she’s paying me back… Read more »

Amanda
Amanda
9 years ago
Reply to  Megan E.

What do you mean “for school”? For your mom’s education?

Jan
Jan
9 years ago
Reply to  Megan E.

Have you thought about taking gifts back and holding the money for her “in reserve”?

Pirate Jo
Pirate Jo
9 years ago
Reply to  Rita

My aunt kind of fell into this trap. After years of scrimping and struggling to get by as a single mom of two kids, her credit card impulses always started out with, “I deserve to have some fun now.” The problem is, deserve has got nothing to do with it. One of her two boys is in his thirties now and a deadbeat. She is always helping him out with money and other things. The other boy is a real go-getter and has already earned his first half-million dollars. He loans her money. I think this is beyond screwed-up, that… Read more »

retirebyforty
retirebyforty
9 years ago

Good luck getting out of debt. You’re in a big hole, but it’s good you realize the problem before it got any bigger. Portland winter is long and gloomy. 🙁

MutantSuperModel
MutantSuperModel
9 years ago

Love this! The tone, the content, all of it. Fantastic post. I almost fear it’ll be torn to shreds by comments but it resonates well with me. Debt is so personal, there’s no right or wrong way to deal with it. I love your positive spin.

Justin
Justin
9 years ago

This story rings true for me, especially treating others. Anytime we go to the bar I’m probably a little too eager to pickup the next round of shots.

mike
mike
9 years ago

Your lucky. Taking someone out to eat only costing an extra $17. One time I paid the restaurant bill, over $100, and all I ate were beans. Maybe it’s the thought that counts, but I was still upset.

I wonder if they remember that meal?

I’d just as soon eat at home. And if I go out, I’ll pay for my beans, and that’s it.

krantcents
krantcents
9 years ago

There are lots of people who use shopping or spending as coping with emotional problems. I see people go shopping because they are happy, sad or have problems. That is not a solution instead it causes more problems.

Crystal
Crystal
9 years ago

This post came off as a personal experience with humility and happiness – that is the absolute best! None of us knows everything and we are all learning as we go. Good luck with your debt repayment and I hope you have a million happy additions to your story along the way!

Katelyn
Katelyn
9 years ago

True for me too. After a year of super-frugality, I realized I wasn’t spending any money at all on even things that would make me very happy, even though I budgeted for them– and that was just as bad as buying whatever I wanted, in some ways. Now I’m trying to find a healthy balance.

The picking up the tab thing: I still do that, every so often, maybe three or four times a month. It keeps me flexible. I tend to go overboard on whatever I’m working on, whether that’s a diet, frugality, retail therapy, or whatever.

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago

Beautiful.

After the first few paragraphs I was all set to jump on your use of “generosity” for what looks like grandiosity & neediness to me – but you totally made it work.

So much of change is learning the underlying emotional needs you’re trying to meet, and that’s a lot more work than just changing habits.

BIGSeth
BIGSeth
9 years ago

Who knew the mall was full of philanthropists?

chacha1
chacha1
9 years ago

Great article! Since Logan is in Portland, I recommend she look up Havi (The Fluent Self) for an upcoming free event … if she hasn’t already done so.

So nice to hear from someone who is doing the psychological, as well as the financial, hard work. Also very nice to feel such acceptance, kindness (generosity) of spirit.

brooklyn money
brooklyn money
9 years ago

I am working on being nicer to myself as well. It feels good to really take care of yourself, doesn’t it? Before you were putting the needs of others before yours (your need to be financially stable), but now you are paying attention to what you need and not putting others first. Suze Orman talks a lot about how this is an issue w/ women and money.

Amy
Amy
9 years ago

So well written, thank you for sharing, this really hit home for me, I do this too and I know it drags down the finances. Good Luck to you and keep up the good work, it sounds like you are on the right road.

Steph
Steph
9 years ago

I did this. I call it “rockefeller syndrome”. So any gifts and meals and bar tabs. And so many splurges to get me through the day, week, month. In an ironic twist, i would buy my splurges in cash to justify them, and then at the end of the month, i was forced to buy my necessities (gas, food, etc) on credit. And now i’ve learned that my “generosity” was really about my own self loathing. And after therapy, I’ve turned my life around. My friends like me, even if I don’t get the bar tab. And even if I… Read more »

Becky D
Becky D
9 years ago

Your story is mine. It is so nice to see it in words and know that I am not the only one. I would buy everything on my families christmas wish list because I thought I could. This year it was really a celebration for me to NOT buy everything everyone asked for. They will tell you that they just wanted to give choices and it isn’t their fault. It is my problem. To all those who got themselves in debt because they wanted to do for other and themselves. May we find less expensive ways to meet that same… Read more »

Jennifer
Jennifer
9 years ago

LOVE this post! I love her style, her intention of self-care in the learning process, and her story of transformation. It’s learning to celebrate the little successes along the way that help us go great things (like get out of debt).

Thanks for featuring it and this author. I’d love to see more from her!

Logan Sachon
Logan Sachon
9 years ago
Thanks so much to each one of you for your kind and supportive comments. What an incredibly compassionate and considerate community. I feel truly honored to read all of your words, and I’m so inspired by your own stories of paying down debt. I thank all of you for sharing them.

My spending is way, way down since I cut up my credit cards, but I still sometimes find myself swiping my debit card without forethought. With a debit card, however, the day of reckoning comes a lot sooner (like, when rent is due), so I’m learning quickly.

elfrond
elfrond
9 years ago

Of course picking up the tab is a nice way of showing affection for people. (Unless you feel that you have to pick up the tab in order for people to love you – I think that’s the essential difference… or if your self esteem relies on being the kind of person who always picks up the tab.) Personally, I like to trade off with people I know well – I pay one time, you pay the next time – that way we both get the pleasure of treating/being treated. I’m not big on gifts, tho… I think I prefer… Read more »

Suba
Suba
9 years ago

I used to go shopping whenever my husband (then BF) and I have a fight. Somehow it felt good to get something for myself when I was feeling down. That was my pick me up. I luckily never went into debt, so that was not my wake up call. The first realization came when I was packing everything to move. I had so much stuff. I couldn’t throw them off because they were expensive. I hauled everything to Goodwill. And slowly we have been decluttering. Now, the first thing that comes to mind whenever I want to buy myself is… Read more »

Laura
Laura
9 years ago

More articles like this one. Thanks, Logan, for sharing it. I am printing it out to keep in my bag as a reminder (also #5 Jane’s response, which could have been written by me – “feel good” snacks is definitely my money suck).

anna
anna
9 years ago

wondering where people draw the line on the other side of the coin (no pun intended)…how do you allow a friend to be generous if they are in a position to do so without seeming cheap?

chacha1
chacha1
9 years ago
Reply to  anna

My DH and I have two couples with whom we are very close. Like, “help, the water heater is ruptured, can you come help me change it out” close. We don’t know each other’s bank balances, but we know, generally, the state of our respective finances. So when we want to throw a lavish dinner party, they are comfortable with that; and if they want to take us out, we are also comfortable. It’s all about intimacy, I think. If you really know each other, you have a level of trust that people aren’t messing themselves up by being generous… Read more »

Julie
Julie
9 years ago

I loved the honesty in this story…and the bit at the end about forgiving herself. That’s the part that has been missing from my story. Thank you so much for sharing!

Dee
Dee
9 years ago

Of all the posts I’ve read on GRS in the past year I’ve been reading, this is the one that hits home the hardest. I could have written this, word for word, if I were as good a writer and as insightful. Financial death by a thousand small cuts, each one intended to pick me up; a donut, a Diet Coke to get me through a boring afternoon at work, new nail polish, etc. I like so much your focus on generosity with yourself (a wonderful impulse more people should indulge in; as you and I are both learning, it’s… Read more »

CB
CB
9 years ago

If you haven’t read “Your Money or Your Life,” it is highly recommended foe getting a handle on how money fits into your life and your life goals.

CB
CB
9 years ago
Reply to  CB

Clicked to edit typo s/b “for” not “foe,” but edit didn’t work even though there was adequate time. I’m using an iPad.

Amanda
Amanda
9 years ago

Love, love, love your article! I think I do this with eating out. As an example let me share last nights experience. Yesterday afternoon I helped a friend move. (It was a lot for me, I usually sit around reading GRS 😉 ) I SOOO badly deserved to not cook (something I hate) and not do dishes (another thing I hate). I made a pot of Spanish rice and veggie tacos. I still felt exhausted after BUT MENTALLY SO GOOD! I’m also usually on the opposite end from Logan on generosity with others. I feel guilty I won’t pick up… Read more »

Bella
Bella
9 years ago

well written article, good content, interesting read, thought provoking conclusions

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