Skip to Content

“It’s just money.”

This is a much-ballyhooed phrase in the personal finance world, largely because people use it to justify all sorts of irresponsible financial behavior.

Colorful flowers in a Harney tea tin.
Maxing out your credit card for a trip to Europe? Eh, it’s just money.

Buying a house whose mortgage takes 70% of your income? Eh, it’s just money.

And so on.

But for those of us who are naturally spending-averse, I actually think this can be a helpful phrase.

Lemons and limes in a plastic bag.

The problem is that some of us are too scared of spending money.  

We’re not even close to loading up the credit card with European vacation expenses…we’re over here obsessing about every tiny expenditure, even when we definitely do have money to pay for those expenditures.

I know, because I’m very spending-averse! Part of it is just my nature, and part of it is probably due to living on a very small income for a lot of years.

Whatever the reason, sometimes I need to be reminded that it is just money.

A rustic bouquet of flowers.

If a car gets totaled or medical expenses roll in or someone needs therapy or the septic system has problems or I get a library late fee, or I miss an early-bird discount, I need to remember that it’s just money.

In our current financial situation, it’s not like a library late fee is going to put us into foreclosure. And we have a savings account for home repairs and car repairs.

Nothing really dreadful is going to happen if we have to spend some of our money, so what am I afraid of?

A view of colorful flowers on a wooden background.

And besides, it’s ultimately true that if money can fix a problem, it’s not really that big of a problem.   It’s the problems money can’t fix that are big.

If you’re more of a natural spender, then you can probably pass this message by.   Pay attention to the “Save more of your money!” peptalks.

A large bouquet of flowers.

But if you’re a diehard tightwad like me, there’s little chance you’ll suddenly become a profligate spendthrift, and you probably need to hear this as much as I do:

Money is a tool, and when you need to spend it, as you often will, it’s not the end of the world.

Take a deep breath and remember: It’s just money.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mrs. Money

Monday 11th of June 2018

I needed to hear this today. My husband is taking classes for software development right now and is in a job that doesn't pay well at all. Things are tight. Both of our older vehicles needed parts replaced in the last two months ($200 each!), our roof is leaking (which I'm afraid will need replaced sooner than I'd like), and we will need a new furnace/AC in the future too. All of these things overwhelm me with how much it's going to cost! I have to count my blessings every day and remind myself that God will provide.


Monday 11th of June 2018

Oh man, that's so hard. We've had to replace the heat pump/AC in both the houses we've owned, and both of those times were in our low income stage of life. It's tough to weather big expenses like that!

Hang in there. Mr. FG used to be in warehousing, but he took classes and got certs in IT stuff and once he made that career switch, it helped out the income situation a lot. I hope the same is true for you guys.


Saturday 9th of June 2018

When we met, my husband was the saver and I was the spender. We've balanced each other out, and the best thing we've done for balance is that we have a spreadsheet with all of our anticipated income and debts. It helps to see the impact of a purchase in black and white.


Friday 8th of June 2018

These days I'm definitely on the tightwad side. I've never overspent my income but I've been both more and less careful in my past.

Some things I have no problems spending money on. I'll spend a lot to buy well-fitting shoes. Other things I'll almost never buy, such as new books.

But there's a large category of things I probably could/should spend money on and won't. Right now I'm on a trip that is mostly free but what I do have to pay for is stupid, wicked expensive. Dinner, for example. It's pricy to start with, and tax and service charge almost 30% on top of that. A simple dinner for one could easily be $50. I find myself scrounging from breakfast leftovers instead of actually eating.


Sunday 10th of June 2018

William, You are my twin, separated at birth. M

Accidental Fire

Friday 8th of June 2018

Money is nothing but a tool, you just have to know when it's appropriate to use and when it's not

Lisa M.

Thursday 7th of June 2018

Although I am spending-averse in general, my goal is purposeful in that I chose to be frugal in order to be able to spend money on what I believe to be important. Two recent examples I blogged about elsewhere include helping my aging dog to be comfortable in her "golden years" and contributing to my DD's European school activity trip during spring break 2019. The reward of frugality is that it can enable possibilities where none existed previously. The ends (what I value) justify the means (frugality). Frugality without goals doesn't serve any real purpose other than security.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.