Frugal living is one thing; being obsessed with saving money is another. Many of the stories that we hear on a daily basis are about thrifty spenders who even take up a low-income loan and end up misusing the cash. But lost in these money stories are tales of people obsessed with saving money.
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Believe it or not, obsessive money savers do exists. Life for these people revolves entirely around storing their money, that they stop living. They live every day with the fear of too much spending even when there is zero possibility of this happening because they only spend on necessities.
We all agree that a money-saving habit is one that everyone should develop, but when does it become unhealthy? At what point will you be considered having torn the line between being a good money-saver and being an obsessive saver?
My Personal Experience with Obsessive Money Saving
When you are declared bankrupt your whole world is suddenly flung into obscurity. This is a feeling you can only know after it happens to you as it did me. Bankruptcy ripped apart my emotions and was it not for the low-income loan I would have never recovered from the scars.
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Yet after my healing, I developed another ailment-obsessive money saving. From being an overspender, I developed a spending anxiety. I feared spending money on anything and everything.
I was so scared of going through the same money-loss experience that I shied away from spending even on the inevitable. I could not live this way forever and had to start learning again how to balance between saving and spending.
Are You An Obsessive Money Saver?
You may not know that your money-saving habits are more towards the extreme end unless you know how to diagnose yourself. What are the pointers for money-saving obsession? How do you know that you’re a victim so that you begin the healing process?
Your Money Doesn’t Make You Happy
The old saying is that money doesn’t buy happiness, but if you can’t use your money to buy things that make you happy then what’s the point of living in the first place? You should save for retirement, yes. And having an emergency fund is also a wise thing to do. But should these cost you this moment’s fun?
You can have fun and still be able to save. How do you do this? Create a category in your list of savings called “fun money”. This is the budget that you will work with for miscellaneous needs. You will still have enough money from your paycheck to save after you remove this money, so don’t be depressed about it.
You Don’t Have a Goal for Your Savings
The ideal way to save is to have an end goal in mind. The goal could be to pay for your graduate school Tuition, to go on a vacation at the end of the year, or to buy iPhone 12. If you continue saving even after meeting these goals you will have lost focus of your saving.
Re-evaluate your saving goals and define them so you don’t save aimlessly. You may have bought the iPhone 12, and gone on vacation but you still don’t have enough money for your college tuition. If this is the case, how much more do you need? What is the minimum and what is the maximum amount of money you need to save to reach your goal in time? These are questions that can help you iron out your saving objectives and habits.
You Consider Everything to Be Materialistic-Even Things You Need
If you don’t have enough pairs of shoes because some are worn-out you need to purchase new ones. Spending money on a new pair is not being extravagant, it is being kind to yourself.
If you don’t want to feel like a spendthrift, invest more money in quality so you are not forced to replace them after a short while. Look at it this way, if you invest more on an item, you save more when the item lasts its lifetime.
If you need something, buy it. Saving money at the expense of caring for yourself predisposes you to psychological torture.
You Are Always Checking Your Accounts
Ordinarily, everyone who is financially fit checks their accounts. It’s therefore not unusual to check your credit balances, savings accounts and checking accounts every day (sometimes after every other hour). Nothing screams money saving obsession like fascination with bank accounts or investments.
You can train yourself out of this obsession. Start by limiting the number of times you check your accounts to one day, then set a reminder after every three days and if you feel relaxed about monitoring your finances, you can train yourself to weekly.
You Hide Your Finances from Your Better Half
Finances are a cause of dispute in many relationships. If you don’t trust your partner or spouse with your financial issues, then you may be dealing with money-saving obsession.
Your financial health should be a responsibility for both of you. You could be busy saving money yet your spouse is seeking a low-income loan to provide for your family. Discuss with the person you love what your financial goals are, and the budget you are comfortable with.
You’re Anxious about Losing Your Money
There are many things that can trigger a money-loss anxiety. Perhaps you had a poverty-filled childhood. Money was a luxury and growing up you vowed to never live without money once you found it.
You can only overcome your fear of losing money when you face it. No one can teach you this. Ask a loved one to support you through this but know that it is your fight.
You Track Every Penny You Spend
Tracking every single penny you spend is not only cumbersome, it’s also energy consuming, derailing and plainly put-impossible.
It is much easier to take account of your money when rounding off. Round off $0.01 to $.50 and $0.49 to $0.99. This is only practical and will save you a lot of time.
We are in this plant for only a short while. The money you work so hard for should afford you and your loved ones the simple pleasures of life. If this is not the case, then you need to re-examine yourself and your saving habits!