Don’t Let Your Self-Worth Impact Your Net Worth

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Don’t Let Your Self-Worth Impact Your Net Worth

This Friday is the last Friday of the month, which means it’s the happy hour episode of my podcast, Martinis and Your Money. This month, we discussed our personal care spending and the various reasons why we spend what we do on personal care. During the course of the conversation, it hit me that for many of us, our lack of self-worth drives us to spend money to look and feel better.

I confess to spending thousands of dollars over the years because I didn’t have a very strong sense of self-worth. For the longest time, I would say I planned to “look ugly on the weekends” where my ugly look was essentially no makeup on my face. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I was giving myself the short end of the self-worth stick by even saying I was ugly without my makeup on. The only person who could really call me ugly is me, and I needed to stop it.

I used to look in the mirror every morning and literally find hundreds of things that were wrong with me: my saggy boobs, the freckles on my face, my hips or my stretch marks. A little over a year ago, during a conversation with my friend, I realized just how bad this exercise was for my self-esteem and me.

My Personal Journey to Increase Self-Worth

In order to combat the self-hatred, I decided to find something I liked when I looked in the mirror every morning. It wasn’t an easy task for me, but I realized how important it was for my mental health.

After a year of practicing this exercise, I recently looked in the mirror and literally said to myself “Wow, you look great” for the first time in my life. It’s taken me 37 years to look in the mirror and not initially see flaws, and I discovered that as I have taken this journey to increase my self-worth, my net worth has benefited as well.

It’s amazing to think how much money we spend to make ourselves feel good, whether it’s on personal care, clothes, food, drinks or shoes. I see my clients spend the most money in a period around times where they aren’t happy with themselves; and the sad reality is that this spending just leads to less money in the bank which leads us to continue to feel bad about ourselves.

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Increased Self Worth = Increased Net Worth

When we feel good about ourselves and what we are doing, we realize that we have enough and we don’t need things to compensate or distract us from our own reality. I used to spend lots of money on books with the goal of letting them take me away and escape my reality for a few hours. I now love to use that time taking a walk in a nearby park and just reflecting on life rather than avoiding it.

My journey towards self-love has been decades in the making, and I still have a long way to go, but I have not only enjoyed the mental results, but the financial results as well. I used to spend more money on makeup as I tried to live as few ugly days as possible; however, now I wear makeup less because I not only enjoy my natural look but it saves me money.

I used to get my hair colored every 8 weeks like clockwork because I was convinced that any sign of roots would make me unlovable. Now I stretch my colorings for 12 weeks or more and enjoy the natural change as it comes in.

If you are looking to save money in your budget, I encourage you to take a journey of self-discovery and increase your self-love. The less you worry about what other’s will think of you and the more you focus on making yourself happy, the less money you will spend. I guarantee you that this is an exercise your mind and bank account will thank you for one day.

Gif Source: Giphy

Do you spend more money when you feel bad about yourself? Do you spend money on personal care because you want to or because you feel you need to?

Bonus – I specifically chose not to use this for a Music Monday post, but if I did, it would be the song Beautiful by Christina Aguilera. So here it is:

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

18 COMMENTS

  1. I, like probably many women, have to work on my self-love. I, too, usually find my flaws and harp on those, without looking at the positives. It’s a journey I’m working on! I spend the most $ on skin care, but I do it because I don’t want to not look old! (Now that’s another issue altogether) I know that I don’t need to, but I enjoy doing so -and it’s really not that much compared to what others spend (I’m naturally very frugal).

    It’s interesting because I notice more with women than with men; women need to come together and support each other in our individual journeys to self-love, for our mental and financial health!

  2. I really love this, Shannon! And I know most of us are guilty of doing this. I used to overspend on designer clothes because I constantly felt insecure in my old career. And I thought wearing Marc Jacobs would somehow make agents easier to deal with. I thought dressing in expensive clothes would convince everyone around me I was more successful than I was. Your post really is dead on. Thank you!

  3. I believe this falls in line with the “I deserve this” type spending, it’s a quick fix and makes you feel better in the moment but doesn’t address the real issue. You really need to figure out what’s drive the bad feelings and address those. I think we’ve all had these moments.

    • Yes, it’s easy to say “I deserve this” when you are not in a good place mentally. I have definitely been there and done that. Thankfully I haven’t said this recently, but I really do believe that it’s because I’m in a better place mentally than I was.

  4. As we discussed in the podcast, if I ever spend money on beauty related things, it’s because I’m doing it for me, not to fill a void. It’s reflecting what Im feeling from the inside. You’d think that being in such a shallow city that I’d be doing MORE in that department, but honestly since playing volleyball and freelancing, I do a lot less in that dept. And I used to think there was NO WAY IN HELL you could catch me in a bikini, but I realized that most of the guys on the beach care more if you can set a ball versus if you have some killer body. That was kind of refreshing.

  5. As usual my friend, you’ve hit the nail on the head for me. In both of these areas I used to struggle so much. I stopped wearing makeup (except for mascara and blush) a few years back, mostly because I wanted to learn to love me for me, skin imperfections and all. And it wasn’t until this summer that I learned that my net worth has absolutely nothing to do with my self worth. This was something I struggled with for a long time too, but now, I’ve totally let it go, and it feels great. 🙂

  6. Growing up, I struggled with low self esteem and a lack of confidence. I never had the nice clothes or the cool shoes that some of the other kids did. When I started working, I was still frugal (that trait has been ingrained in my head), but at times when I was feeling a little down, I did cope by buying stuff that I thought made me feel like I’d fit in better. More fashionable clothes, updated cell phone, wanted a sporty car (thankfully I never did buy that). Bonus Bonus Music Monday song from way back in the day when I was a kid from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood:
    “It’s you I like,
    It’s not the things you wear,
    It’s not the way you do your hair–
    But it’s you I like
    The way you are right now,
    The way down deep inside you–
    Not the things that hide you,
    Not your toys–
    They’re just beside you.

    But it’s you I like–
    Every part of you,
    Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
    Whether old or new.
    I hope that you’ll remember
    Even when you’re feeling blue
    That it’s you I like,
    It’s you yourself,
    It’s you, it’s you I like.”

  7. It’s really hard to look at ourselves in a positive way. I just turned 30 and I was looking back at our wedding pictures from just 4 years ago. Holy moly I looked great then. But since then, we’ve had two kids and I don’t work out as much or eat as well. I’m especially gloomy because my 2nd daughter was just boen and I’ve worked out twice since in those 6 weeks.

    But we started the savings train right after we got back from.our honeymoon and those habits still stuck during the weight gain periods. Basically I’m saying you’re right, its a lot easier to look at saving money when you’re feeling better about yourself!

  8. Great post, Shannon. I think almost everyone is guilty to a certain degree of letting their emotions around who they are impact their net worth. We are our harshest critics and we often only see what we perceive as the negative parts of our lives or what we lack. Learning to love ourselves, imperfections included, goes a long way to helping us improve our net worth.

  9. When I do stuff like dye my hair or look for some anti-wrinkle products or even lose weight, my husband always tells me I don’t need to do it for him. I think it’s adorable that he thinks I’m doing it for anyone but me.

    I’ve gotten a little vain over the years, but I’ve also gotten better at accepting who I see in the mirror. I do indulge in some makeup for date night or going to FinCon, but working around the house means I don’t need to bother the rest of the time.

    I think right before FinCon I tend to spend some money. This year, I decided to switch to a different foundation and try a couple new products, plus I usually buy a top or two (at Marshall’s). That’s a mix between my wanting to look my best for others but also to give myself confidence. So… I guess that counts?

  10. Great words, Shannon. I struggle with this topic because I DO think you feel better when you look good and feel comfortable. But at the same time, it often goes too far. There is a fine line between being healthy and feeling good about what you are wearing and being completely obsessed with your appearance.

  11. LOVE this, Shannon! I am guilty of retail therapy when I’m feeling down. Not anymore really because I’m on a budget and committed to paying off my student loan debt BUT before I started blogging and getting my finances together, this is definitely something I did. I think once you’re aware of it, it’s easier to control.

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