Are you spending to fit in?

I have been thinking about loneliness a bit lately, and how spending time and money in certain circles is not filling my cup, in fact it might be increasing disconnection.

 

Loneliness isn’t just a feeling; it’s a phenomenon that impacts our spending habits, often without us even realising it. As I’ve delved into this topic, I’ve uncovered some intriguing insights.

Firstly, let’s explore the link between loneliness and spending. Since COVID-19, many of us have become disconnected from our usual social circles, whether they’re loose friends, acquaintances, or the places we used to frequent. This disconnection leaves us yearning for social validation and belonging. And unfortunately, we often seek to fill that void through spending.

 

Think about it. How many times have you found yourself mindlessly scrolling through online shopping sites, making purchases you don’t really need? Or perhaps you’ve noticed a trend among your peers, where social media influences what you buy and how you present yourself. Or is your spending filling a void where you are really craving connection?

 

Ther is hope!

 One concept that fascinated me during my research is the idea of the “third place.” Your first place is home, your second is work, and your third is somewhere you go to connect with others—like a coffee shop, a gym, or a book club. Rediscovering your third place can help combat loneliness by providing opportunities for genuine human connection.

 

It’s not just about finding any social setting; it’s about finding your tribe. Brené Brown beautifully distinguishes between “fitting in” and “belonging.” Fitting in involves conforming to others’ expectations, while belonging is about being authentically yourself among like-minded individuals.

 

To assess your social circles, try mapping out your inner, middle, and outer circles of friends. Your inner circle comprises those closest to you—people who truly understand and support you. Your middle circle includes friends you enjoy spending time with, but with whom you may not share everything. And your outer circle consists of acquaintances or colleagues with whom you have a more superficial relationship.

 

Understanding your friendship circles can help you identify where you’re investing your time and energy—and whether those investments align with your values and goals.

 

As you evaluate your spending habits, focus on discretionary expenses—the non-essential purchases that often reflect our desires for social acceptance. Are you spending money to fill a void, or are you investing in experiences that genuinely enrich your life and relationships?

 

Remember, it’s okay to reassess and realign your priorities. If you find yourself trapped in a cycle of empty spending, consider reallocating your resources toward activities and communities that nurture your soul.

 

For me personally, this journey has been eye-opening. Like many others, I’ve felt the sting of loneliness in recent times. But by recognizing the importance of genuine connection and intentional spending, I’m taking steps to rediscover my tribe and invest in experiences that truly bring me joy.

 

So, as you navigate your own happy money journey, remember: true wealth isn’t measured by the contents of your bank account, but by the richness of your relationships and experiences.

 

Thank you for joining me on this exploration of loneliness, spending, and finding your tribe. Until next time, stay curious and keep seeking joy in every aspect of your life, and most of all enjoy your journey!

Contact Phoebe

Phoebe is available for interviews, guest appearances, article commentary, and talks on a range of topics relating to property, mortgage broking, and personal finance (particularly for women!).