When Spending and Eating = Wasting

When Spending and Eating = Wasting

Lately, I've been tackling my beliefs about money and was stunned by the simplicity of this one, and it's link to eating.

Who am I about spending? I try not to, feel guilty when I do, and come up with endless justifications for each dollar spent or saved. No, it's actually worse than that...each penny! When I see one on the ground, I still have to justify not picking it up, "It's not worth stopping. It will just add weight to my wallet..."

Who am I about eating? I try not to, feel guilty when I do, and come up with endless justifications: "I just exercised," "I haven't eaten all day..." Like right now as I eat my frosted breakfast cereal at 2:30 PM.

Who am I about saving? I try to, feel guilty when I don't with both money and food. I keep even tiny portions of left-over food, and, in broader terms, I save everything. Heck, my professional degree is in art conservation and restoration which is all about preservation.

Now, there's nothing wrong with being frugal and saving things. Eva will be the first to tell you, there is nothing wrong with being any way you want, if it is OK with you. This isn't OK with me. I wish I had a greater ease with spending, eating and getting rid of stuff.

When I looked back at my childhood it all finally made sense.

As a child, I didn't understand how businesses made money. All I knew was that what my dad said. He made money with his business, brought it home, and my Mom spent it. Saving money was good; spending money was bad because then it was gone, "wasted," or "p___ed away," as he said when money was tight and tempers were high.

(Did you notice that the concept of partnership in earning and spending was missing? I didn't notice that either. It was just the way things were.)

Then I was given an allowance and a savings account. The point was to put your money in the bank and save it. You knew it was there by the numbers stamped on your passbook. Of course, my numbers always went up. How? BY NOT SPENDING IT.

Guess what else I saved. My Halloween candy. I was the kid who still had candy in a shoe box a year later. How? BY NOT EATING IT. It was absolutely perfect for me to play out my beliefs about an abstract concept like spending in the physical world terms of candy: eat it, and the shoe box was empty; save it, and the candy was still there. "See, see? I didn't waste it."

(Notice how enjoyment doesn't count for anything?)

Playing it out built an association between spending, eating and wasting, which is why the timing of this breakthrough is no coincidence—Halloween is coming. That's exactly how associations work.

So with the pattern clear, the only thing left to complete my breakthrough with money was to validate how inseparable these two things were in my mind: "spending = wasting." When I ran it by Eva, I discovered just how deep the belief ran.

Turns out that at the core of my black and white "once is always" childhood mind, spending was always wasting. No kidding. I believed that people should actually live off nature in caves and eat berries and other things that would replenish themselves. Spending money on anything required justification. After all, you don't really need a bed... We laughed until we cried.

No wonder I had to justify every penny: "spending = wasting"! The irrational guilt finally made sense! And the second it all made sense - BREAKTHROUGH! So if spending wasn't wasting, what was it? Immediately, a new thought popped up:

"Investing. What if spending money could actually create more of something: more enjoyment, more products (by way of demand), and even more money?!!" Guess what? That's exactly what it does.

Now if you haven't done breakthrough work, this part will be a little hard to understand. Suffice it to say that before the breakthrough, it's not like I didn't "know" or hadn't heard of investing; it just always occurred to me as something too risky to do and crazy that anyone would try. After the breakthrough, investing in your business seems like, "Of course! It's just what you do." It's actually the secret to how businesses make money, and now it's possible for me to do, too.

What kind of beliefs do you have about spending? How did money come into your awareness as a child? I would love to hear how they relate.


  1. I grew up poor and once found my mom’s checkbook and said “Here, we have money!” I didn’t get that there needed money deposited in the account.
    My Mom had a very abundant attitude and would occasionally soothe friends who were having money problems and write them a Million dollar check! Too bad it could not be cashed, but it made the whole heavy situation lighter.

    • Michelle,

      You knew what a checkbook was for! You just write the dollars on a check, and they are there. That kind of anything’s possible, blank check belief fits perfectly with your mother’s wonderful attitude of abundance, which I’ve seen in you, too. Don’t you love how children can translate the intangible into the tangible so easily?!! That’s the power of creation!

  2. Oh, this is so great Sandy!

    I can totally see this playing under the surface of every interaction I’ve had with you. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

    I will think on what my childhood $ associations are. I’ll keep you posted!

    • Katherine,

      Doesn’t it all make perfect sense?!! And the funny thing is, when spending IS wasting, others investing and get wildly successful returns doesn’t occur as proof of how the world works, it just seems baffling! So funny when you finally see it from the other side. Can’t wait to hear your childhood money memories.

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