Slowly Sipping Coffee

Investing in me

flowerI’ve realized lately that I need to invest more in me, not just in VTSAX.  Mr. SSC points this out to me all the time. Often I get weighed down by focusing too much on savings… I’m guessing this happens to most of us with FIRE goals. But, lately I’ve found myself focusing so much on saving a few dollars here and there, that my general well-being is taking a hit.


Example 1:

Mr. SSC pointed out the other night, that I can occasionally go a little extreme.  For instance, I have eczema, and for the last year I’ve had it bad on two fingers. I went to a dermatologist last spring, but they didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t know (my whole family has this issue, and I’ve had it my whole life, so I’m not a newbie in battling my skin). I got frustrated when they told me to come back in a month.  I thought about it, but then it’s another $25 co-pay, and probably another prescription that may not work for $75 or so… so I never went back, and have just been dealing with my condition by myself. And Mr. SSC thinks I’m crazy that I don’t want to spend $100 or so for a chance at a fix. Thinking about it, it probably puts me in the ‘cheap’ vs. ‘frugal’ category.  It doesn’t help that I have a general distrust and dislike of doctors. (I mean, this year I had a broken foot for 6 months that was misdiagnosed and I almost had bunion surgery before deciding to get a second opinion and finding out that my foot was broken).


Example 2:

I am typically a very fit individual, big into health and all that. But, having two babies has put me in a non-ideal form. I’m stronger than ever, but looking in the mirror that isn’t obvious because I got a nice layer of insulation covering it all up, if you know what I mean.  I love eating healthy, absolutely love fruits and nuts and stir-fry and salads. All that stuff that could help remedy my post-baby-belly problem.  But, I love saving money… and I often make decisions that favor my wallet, instead of my stomach.  Probably not the best idea.  But I feel guilty spending extra money on say, berries or other fresh ingredients.  I know that I’ve got to lighten up – spend that few extra cents or dollars and make an investment in my health, but it’s so difficult for me to do.


Example 3:

I’ve posted before about how I am thinking about cutting back to part time hours.  It won’t greatly affect our FIRE date, and it will make life easier and more pleasant for both Mr. SSC and I and the kids.  But, I just can’t get over giving up 25% of my paycheck.  Making money is so ingrained in my psyche that it’s hard to give it up, it just feels so selfish to decide not to work Fridays anymore. Every time I think about part-time work, I feel that deciding to work less goes against everything I grew up believing in.  I think I need to come to terms with this soon, or I may not be able to FIRE when the time comes!


I’ve got no problem making only the best decisions for Mr. SSC and my kids… but when it comes to me, I will short-change my well-being to save a dollar. I have no idea why – perhaps I know that I’m able to (mostly) handle it.  Do you all find yourselves making decisions that negatively impact aspects of your life just so that you can save a few dollars?


6 thoughts on “Investing in me

  1. Sandi

    I think this dilemma could be easily resolved with a change in mindset/perspective…A healthier diet would make you feel better and have more energy, which would benefit your family as well. And having more time off to spend with your young children and make all your lives easier/more pleasant sounds like about the least selfish thing I can imagine. In my opinion, these WOULD be the best decisions for Mr. SSC and kiddies! :-)

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      Yeah, that is a good point… the root of it all lies in a change of mindset. I was raised and have always been a go-go-GO! personality and very career-success driven, and while I have started down the path of realizing what is truly important… I have quite gotten it yet.

  2. Mrs. Maroon

    I think most mothers will short change themselves, and in more ways than just their finances. I agree that for the most part, we feel we can just live with the sacrifice. Or for me, I don’t want to need to ask anyone else to sacrifice.

    And, if cutting back your hours doesn’t alter your FIRE timeline, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Knowing that you fit into the camp seeking FIRE, I know that you don’t follow conventional wisdom. So don’t fall into a trap that the ‘norm’ must be a job that builds to a career where you devote your time to someone else. The benefits to reap in this area are so much greater than even allowing yourself to splurge on the delicious blackberries!

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      I keep trying to remind myself that the kids will only be this young and adorable once! It is something I need to stop thinking about in the back of my head and move it to the front of my head to figure it out.

  3. Mrs. Frugalwoods

    I’m sometimes guilty of being cheap (and not just good old frugal), but I’m trying to be better about this. Mr. Frugalwoods definitely balances me out and reminds me to prioritize meaningful spending. I do spend more on groceries in order to buy lots of organic produce and other healthy foods–that’s one area we don’t compromise on. We have given up most meat and dairy in favor of saving money, but we eat healthy substitutes (like lentils, beans, quinoa). Hang in there and definitely DO invest in yourself :)

    1. Mrs SSC Post author

      Thanks for the pep talk. I think I’m going to try and tackle it one bit at a time. I have been very slowly getting better at buying better quality food and not thinking of it as pure indulgence. Its just difficult to convince my inner cheapskate!

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