In so many ways, my life has been pretty fortunate:
My parents paid for my college education, so I didn’t take out any student loans and graduated with assets.
I didn’t even know what the word overdraft was until I was 21 and I still have never overdrafted.
I’ve never really been unemployed – I worked in the summer between high school and college starting and was either in school or working throughout college. I took a few months off between graduating from college and starting my full-time job, but I had a job lined up.
I had a job lined up when I graduated, at a company I had interned with.
I picked a career that I enjoy and happened to be quite lucrative at the time that I graduated from college. At many other points in the last decade, finding a job in this field wasn’t so easy, while right now, it’s not so easy to find jobs in other fields.
I have what is apparently really cheap health and dental insurance through my employer.
I haven’t had to pinch my pennies at any point in my life, even though I have tracked the pennies for a good portion of it.
I can spend $6,000 in a month and still see my net worth go up.
I bought a brand-new car in cash within a year of graduating from college, while still investing for retirement and having a good cash reserve.
I can afford whatever I want, without too much concern for the future or the present.
I have a really awesome and cushy job that I quite enjoy.
I’ve never really had to worry about money.
Despite all of the above, some days I forget that my life is awesome. I dig myself into a mental hole. I feel bad for the people who aren’t in a happy, similar situation to me. Coworkers guilt me that I’m watching my spending, when really they’re just suggesting that I spend money on something that I don’t value.
One of the biggest lessons that I’m learning as I grow into my post-college life is that everyone’s life sucks at different points in different ways. Finding zen in my finances and in my life has helped to deal with the ups and downs of life.
Living by myself and having a good routine is sort of like having cash reserves. Having cash reserves helps in stressful situations.
I let myself live by crafting a spending plan that reflects my financial priorities. Sure, I’m spending a lot of money, but I’m saving > 50% of it. Saving has a purpose, but I’m past the point of going all out and saving money to deprive myself of nice things that I can afford.
But I still feel guilty some days. That’s one of the hardest parts about blogging. I worry that other people will see what I earn and what I spend and be unhappy that they’re not doing that too and lash out at me. I guess that’s part of putting my life/financial situation out there on the internet and that’s part of what makes personal finance, well, personal. I didn’t even want to publish this post, for fear that someone might lash out at me for complaining.
Readers, do you ever feel guilty about your financial situation? What do you feel guilty about?