Home Money Money Memory: Gumballs and your Gut

Money Memory: Gumballs and your Gut

by Bethany


A bright shiny quarter was plopped in my sweaty dirty hand. I ran to the gumball machine like a trained monkey who knew that a reward was headed my way as soon as I put that quarter in the machine.

My first experiences with my own money was a foreshadowing.  I knew that money could buy me a reward. Not that money was the reward itself.

How is it that I have lived most of my life knowing that money is to be saved. That money is powerful. That money is precious even. Yet, I did not think to keep it- only use it for exactly what I wanted.

I have a stubbornness, a tenacity – a way of proving others wrong that is innate to my being. Capricorn anyone? With this meant that I was willing to spend money I did not have to get where I wanted. I accumulated student loans. I lived paycheck to paycheck.

This did not mean that I wasn’t working too. Four jobs and full time school is hard to hold down for 6 years. I do not regret my College education, and I needed my Master’s degree for my career. This is where I find the challenge.

I do not regret the sacrifice or the spending. It seemed to just come with the path. I do have to face those habits everyday now.

The Gut

I am a spender. I am not a “naturally frugal” person or a “natural saver”. Are those things even natural? Ok, I know they are for some- but to me it feels so far removed.

Today, if you placed $25 in my hand it would get sweaty because I have to actually process and consciously put the money where it needs to go, not where I want it to go. It seems so irresponsible for such a responsible person. Or at least those are my most recent feelings.

This is not a judgement, only a money memory. Something I am diving into now as a form of self reflection.

With this, I think perhaps it is not natural for me to save or be cautious with money because my gut reaction does not tell me to do so. Intuition is something I find important to listen too. I know that sinking gut feeling, and it never seems to hit me when I spend money.

Does anyone else feel the same? Does your gut just kick back and give you no indication that spending may not be a good idea? When I was a kid, my gut just wanted that gumball and so it got it. Now I have to retrain myself and hope that my intuition will eventually follow along.

Out of this self – reflection, balancing wants and needs has become the new focus.


Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early October 11, 2018 - 11:16 am

It’s gotta be SO much harder when your first inclination to spend and not save. While I’ve spent money on some useless crap over the years, my inclination has never been to spend it all (unless we’re talking about helping someone else with that money, and then it’s a whole other story).

I grew up always having “enough” and I believe that has always helped me on the frugality side of things. Money was never scare for the necessities, and so I’ve never known the need of that.

Bethany October 20, 2018 - 11:08 am

Yes, you are lucky! I understand the helping others bit as well, or at least justifying an expense because it is for someone else. Would love to read a post on this from you.


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