I started reading "The Year of Less" last weekend while I was traveling to surprise one of my best girlfriends for her birthday. While I was instantly drawn in by the writing, I found myself getting annoyed by all of the private details that the author revealed about her past issues with alcohol, among other things. Look lady, I wanted to read a book about finances. Not your personal problems.
Then it hit me: how you do anything is how you do everything. And, like the author, I have my own issues with finances. Among other things. I was getting angry because I could see myself in some of her tendencies, and it wasn't something I was ready to deal with at the moment.
I am a naturally anxious person. Picking out a new toothpaste can cause me to have an existential crisis. Just imagine the amount of stress sweat I produce when making important decisions. Now compound that by the fact that I gave up my beloved Dove Powder Fresh a few years ago for a natural deodorant because #Oregon. I digress.
I have never been very good with money. Growing up, I always spent money or gift cards as soon as I had them. It was like they were burning a hole in my pocket. At the same time, I never felt comfortable asking my parents for things so I would rather go without or I would spend my own money to avoid the nonexistent conflict that would happen in my head. I can see now that my miser to lesser-known Kardashian to miser swings probably started young.
When I think about finances, I always seem to associate it with shame. Shame because I've spent too much. Shame over the credit card bills that I managed to rack up in college one $2.99 pizza at a time. And shame, even now, when I make smart financial choices. Who do I think I am to deserve this nice thing or a better future?
This book brought up a lot of emotions for me. Read my full book review here.