How to stop feeling guilty about spending money on yourself

It's just been your birthday and you have a little money to spend on yourself, but just as you're about to purchase that nice top you've had your eye on the mama guilt hits and you stop yourself. Sound familiar? It was my birthday back in January and I still have a gift voucher I haven't used. What's stopping me? Mama guilt. I've been doing some research on how to stop feeling guilty about spending money on yourself - here's what I've learned.


As you get older your birthday is less of a big deal isn't it? Really it's just another day, unless it's a big birthday (I'm knocking on the door of 40!). But to be honest it's just another day when you'll have to clean the house and cook the meals right?

You get cards, and sometimes even money inside. You take a moment to imagine what you could spend that money on. A snazzy new tee? Some colourful nail polish? Maybe even a new handbag. Wouldn't that be nice... And then you bump back to earth when you remember it's your youngest's school trip next week and they need spending money. Or there's another birthday coming up and you need to get something for that. What do you do? You end up spending the money you were given for your birthday to someone else.

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Spending Money On Yourself | Spend your birthday money on YOU rather than saving it to spend on others. You deserve a treat.
Spend your birthday money on yourself!

Like I said, I still have a gift voucher sitting on my desk in front of me right now that I got for my birthday back in January. And I still haven't spent it. It's like my brain won't let me think of anything to spend it on for myself so I'm just letting it sit there. There's a struggle inside my head, I could spend it on the boys, or on the Hubby... but it was a gift for me - so why shouldn't I spend it on myself?

If you're anything like me you already spend all of your time thinking about other people. You cook and clean, you drive the kids to school and back. So once in a while it really is okay to spend a little money on yourself.

Guilt can stop us from taking healthy care of ourselves.

Melody Beattie

Make changes

To help you feel less guilty for spending money on yourself you could try a few changes to your routines and the way you spend money. Here's a few ideas...

Cheaper brands

A few years ago the Hubby and I looked at our finances and decided we needed to reel it in a bit. We weren't having money troubles but we could see it on the horizon and decided to make some changes before we got there.

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Spending Money On Yourself | No matter what you choose coke or cola, it looks the same in a glass!
Whether Coke or Cola, it looks the same in a glass...

After looking at how much we spent and what we spent it on we realised that a lot of our money was used to buy expensive branded things like Pepsi, Cadbury chocolate, and Warburtons bread. In order to save money we made a switch and started buying supermarket's own branded things. From cola to bread we made a change and soon noticed our finances improving. Right now we get through a lot of cola during the week, but the cola we buy is 17p for a 2 litre bottle, compare that to the £1.50 or more for the branded stuff and we're already making a huge saving every week.

Have you made the switch yet?

Spending on the kids

When you have kids you're forever spending money on them. They need new clothes every month, or at least it seems like it. They get through shoes like they're sweets, and toys may as well be disposable. But let's face it, the spending on the kids isn't about to change is it?

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Spending Money On Yourself | Kids, a constant drain on our money!
Kids - a constant drain on our money. Not that we'd have it any other way. 💖

If you suddenly said you weren't going to spend money on the kids you'd feel even more guilty. But there is a way you can continue to look after your kids without spending money on them all the time. You could think about saving for your kids' future! There are things like Junior ISAs, Trust Funds, all sorts of ways you could save. Wouldn't you feel good to know your kids future was sorted and they wouldn't have to worry about money for a while? I know I would.

There are lots of places you can find out more about the Junior ISAs and Trust Funds.

Motherhood is like a big sleeping bag of guilt.

Anna Faris

Sell online

I'm betting that somewhere in your house is a load of stored toys/clothes/bits and pieces that you're not going to use again. Toys from when the kids were babies. Clothes you'll either never fit into again, or even if you did you'd never wear. And all the things you've put into storage thinking you might need it one day. You won't need it. Ever.

A good way of getting some money together (to spend on yourself or the family) is to sell some of those things online. Why not put the kids' old toys on Ebay or similar. There's always going to be someone out there looking for toys!

Don't overspend

When you've spent a little time saving money by switching to supermarket brands, or you've made some money back from selling online, you can spend the money on yourself if you choose. You know it's money you've only made because of the changes you made, so you deserve a treat.

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Spending Money On Yourself | Buy that treat for yourself, just remember to not overspend!
A new handbag would be lovely right? But can you really afford the designer handbag?

Buying yourself a treat is all well and good, just don't go overboard. I wouldn't recommend buying yourself a new Louis Vuitton handbag for example. Or splurging on a dress you'll never wear. Think about how you spend the money, think about the thing you're spending the money on and make sure you'll use it to make yourself happier. And don't overspend! Keep an eye on your budget.

How To Stop Feeling Guilty About Spending Money On Yourself | Making small changes to your finances you could feel less guilty about spending money on yourself.

Now I'm not saying these changes will make the guilt go away completely, I mean, we're mums aren't we? We feel perpetually guilty. But making the changes might help, and when you do spy something you think you'd like you might be less likely to stop yourself.

When was the last time you spent money on yourself?

Don't forget to grab the Activity Book so you get to enjoy a hot coffee during the holidays too!