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  • Emily Friday

Overcoming Financial Guilt | How to Stop Feeling Guilty for Spending Money

Do you ever feel guilty for spending money?

You’re not alone! According to a 2019 survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Slickdeals, over half of the 2,000 participants involved said they felt guilty about spending money.

No matter what they were buying, consumers admitted to feeling a twinge of guilt after the purchase - especially when paying the full retail price for that item.

The survey also revealed the areas of spending that consumers felt most guilty about: 47%

admitted they would feel guilty about treating themselves to a meal out, whilst clothes (46%) and shoes (35%) came second and third. And one in five of the participants admitted to feeling guilty even just going to shop for groceries.

Whether the source of your guilt stems from a scarcity mindset or you have a habit of impulse shopping, our post this week aims to help you understand this financial guilt and provide tips on how you can overcome this feeling.

1) Understand the guilt

The first step to overcoming spending guilt is understanding the source. For example, do you have a scarcity mindset? Do you make impulse purchases when you’re feeling emotional that you later regret?

A great way to understand our guilt and mindset around money is by unpacking our relationship with money - check out our blog post for 5 questions to help you unravel your money mentality.

2) Check in with your goals

It’s time to revisit that budget and long-term financial plan!

One of the reasons you may be feeling guilty when you spend money is because you haven’t checked in or made progress with your money goals for a while. Set aside an hour this week to sit down with your budget and use this checklist below to help you assess your progress and help ease your worries:

✅ Is my emergency fund intact? Have I made any payments towards this lately? Have I had to dip into it for an emergency/non-emergency?

✅ How’s my debt payoff plan looking? How many more payments until it’s all paid off? Can I make any extra payments to speed up the process?

✅ Have I been using my credit card a little too much lately? Am I paying off the balance in full every month? How’s my credit score?

Does my spending over the last 3 months reflect my long-term goals? Why/why not? What can I do to get back on track?

Check out our blog post, The Roadmap to Achieving your Financial Goals, for more help with this step!

3) Determine your values

Now you’ve taken an honest look at the last 3 months of your purchases, it’s time to get real.

Are you spending money on the things that you truly value in life? Do these things bring you joy? For example, maybe you’re spending a lot on takeaways out of convenience when you really want to cut back so that you’ll have more money to go travelling or save up for a house.

Inspect your statement, highlight ‘good spends’ vs. ‘bad spends’ and find ways to eliminate the bad spending if possible.

Check out our post on how to avoid impulse spending.

4) Create a ‘fun fund’

Another great way to ease your spending guilt is by allocating a ‘fun fund’ into your budget.

Your fun fund is money you set aside specifically for the purchases that make you happy. You then don’t have to worry about running out of money towards the end of the month.

Whether your fund is for future holidays, shoes, or those takeaway coffees you love, set some money aside each month to enjoy these experiences guilt-free knowing that the bills and savings are already taken care of!

5) Be kind to yourself

Last of all, learning to be kind to yourself is probably the most important step in overcoming spending guilt.

As long as you're up to date on your debt payments and your savings are looking good, remind yourself that it’s perfectly okay to treat yourself every now and then!

And even if you’ve still a long way to go, your finances are imperfect and you've made mistakes - you’re still deserving of nice things (so long as you aren’t driving yourself further into debt!).


If part of your guilt arises from the fear of overspending, the ImageNPay App can help 💜

With your very own digital prepaid card, you can top up your digital wallet with an allowance you set and rest assured that you’ll never risk going over budget.

Tap the button below to find out more and download FREE on iOS or Android!


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