I often hear that men are like children, but for a change, it’s time to turn things around. With a personal finance perspective, of course.
Right now, my girlfriend has one year of school left while I graduated this past May and have started working. I’m startled by the amount of money I’m able to save after saving for retirement, paying student loans, rent, etc. So what am I doing with my money? A little bit of everything. But I also know that I can pay for some memorable experiences with Lauren. Or I can buy her fantastic presents that she’ll love for a little bit.
Too Many Presents = Bad Habits
Recently I got her earmuffs and a new camera after she left hers on an airplane. For me, it seems like since I can easily afford to pay for the things she needs, so why shouldn’t I? Am I really able to say to myself that she should take care of it herself even though she’s still in school and is only racking up more debt? Of course it’s not my responsibility, but why not make her happy?
Well, if I continue down this path, I will be no better than the parent that spoils their child. And it could spell disaster later on.
I’ve been struggling with this question quite a bit. But I know that the more I spoil her, the more she will be entitled, and the less she’ll rely on herself. Then, instead of me being nice and buying her things, it will become a pattern, it will lose it’s specialness, and it will feel more like a burden than a gift.
Do you think I’ll be able to control my urge to spend? Or will I get smart and realize that the occasional gift will be more meaningful?