Every day we see experts on TV chastising Americans for spending money as if there is no tomorrow. In such an environment, it is easy to develop a fear of spending money.
It is easy to develop an obsession with our spending habits. When you reach a point where you are overanalyzing every purchase to the point that you are almost paralyzed by this fear.
If you have reached that stage maybe it is time to seek help and in this post, I intend to do just that.
As you know, it is very easy to move from one extreme to the other. To move from being a shopaholic to someone with a phobia or fear for money.
Both extremes are bad. We all need to develop a healthy sort of care when spending our money.
As I was preparing to write this article I came across the medical condition known as chrometophobia, an extreme fear of money. This phobia includes fear of spending money or fear of thinking about money and in some cases fear of touching money.
The sufferers are aware that the anxiety that they feel is irrational but cannot overcome it. They do not want to mismanage their money but in an irrational way.
Chrometophobia is an extreme condition that can only be helped by a medical specialist. As a personal finance blogger, I am definitely not qualified to handle such issues.
However, I am here to talk of the normal fear of spending money not the sickness bit.
I have a friend who is very good at saving money and not spending it. He is obsessed with saving money at all costs.
As a result of this obsession, he drives an old car that gives him all sorts of problems instead of just buying a new car. For some reason, he cannot but keep all this money and yet live a miserable life.
His situation is definitely not healthy.
Steps To Getting Rid of the Fear of Spending Money
Below are a few tips on how one can get rid of this fear of spending money and then develop a healthy way of managing your finance.
1. Prepare A Monthly Budget And Stick to It
One of the secrets of getting rid of the fear of spending money is to make sure that you prepare a detailed personal or family budget. A budget that includes all the things that you are going to purchase that month.
The trick here is to make sure that you stick to your budget. Because of the time, it takes to prepare this budget your mind will be trained to accept purchases on that budget.
Having a budget will prevent you from purchasing things that you did not budget for. This will, therefore, help in dispelling all the anxiety you may have had when you did not have a budget.
Now you will know that you are purchasing something that you have thought through thoroughly. You are not just waking up and thinking of buying anything.
2. Create Direct Debits and Standing Orders For Some of Your Payments.
When you create direct debits and standing orders you are shielding yourself from seeing payments going through from your bank account. Everything happens in the background sparing you any anxieties.
The good thing about Direct debits is that most utility companies already demand or accept them. This enables the company to take out whatever amount you incurred that month without your intervention. It is all automated.
For the fixed payment you can then set up a standing order allowing the bank to send out the payment automatically on the dates and amounts you indicate.
This has personally helped me to avoid defaulting on some payments. Because let’s face it, it is one for the bank to pay on your behalf than for yourself to release the payment.
One can easily decide to miss some payments depending on your mood that month and other demands on your money. Utility companies are aware of that human weakness. That is why they demand direct debits.
3. Understand Why You Are Afraid of Spending Your Money
Man is a very complex being who is shaped by his past and even some inherited genes. There are things that we have gone through in the past that may be pulling us backward.
For some, it could be that their father or mother was a shopaholic or someone who did not manage your family expenses properly. Maybe as a result of that, you still remember how your family suffered. And this is always at the back of your mind when you think of money.
It is such experiences that may make you want to be different from your parent. While this is good sometimes you can go to the other extreme where you don’t even want to spend anything.
It is therefore important one understands why they are afraid of spending money. That will help us put things in perspective and help in dealing with these fears.
Most of these things happen at the subconscious level without us knowing why. It is only when we sit down to analyze everything that we may know the source of these fears.
4. Remember Life Is Short. It Is Okay To Enjoy
I know it is a bit difficult for people who have set their minds on being frugal to accept that it is alright to enjoy. Being frugal does not mean that you cannot enjoy life.
There are still times when you have met all the goals that you have set up for yourself that you can for once just do something to enjoy your success. It is alright to spoil yourself once in a while.
The fear of spending money is all in the head and the moment you put your brain in the right place, you can be freed from this fear. You are in control of your own destiny and life and do not let anything or feelings control you.
You need to objectively look at a situation and analyze its merits and demerits and decide from there. In doing this avoid at all costs buyings things on impulse.
Impulse buying does not involve any rational thinking and is therefore to be avoided. So when I say enjoy life, I am not talking of impulsive buying but rather well reason purchases.
5. Seek help From Trusted Friends.
I know we live in an individualistic society so much so that most people would rather keep their struggles to themselves but this is not good. We all can learn from each other.
Therefore if you have friends it is important to share your fears with them. You will be surprised that they too might have gone through the same problem.
In doing this do it with your trusted friends. You don’t want your dirty laundry to be exposed for all to see.
Sharing your struggles with those that have gone through the same problem can be the start of your journey to recovery.
I remember 20 years ago, I struggled with my finances as a young boy just out of college. A friend noticed this and suggested things I could do to make sure that I was not in the red always.
The tips that he gave me helped me quiet a lot and I am forever grateful to him.
I know that mine was the opposite of the fear of spending money but both can be helped by asking for advice from others. Try it and you too won’t be disappointed.
6. Get A Book About How to Manage Your Finances
Just as we all look for resources to learn new things, one can also read a book on personal finance to increase his knowledge in this area. The more you read the more knowledge you have and the less fear you will have as you put your lessons to use.
As they say, knowledge is power. Knowledge about personal finance can drive out the fear of spending money.
The more you read the more you will feel like you are an expert on money and with that will come confidence in managing your finances.
I also have some money quotes from famous people that you may be interested in too.
7. Take Time To Analyze Why You Need To Purchase Something
Sometimes this fear of spending money can be overcome by just taking a few minutes analyzing the pros and cons of buying a thing.
For example, if you want to buy bread, analyze all the reasons why you need to buy bread or why you should not buy bread. By doing this you will be able I hope to convince yourself as to why you should buy bread.
The good thing about taking time to critically analyze your purchases is that you will end up buying things that you really need.
I hope you have learned one or two things that will help to get rid of your fear of spending money. If this does not work then I would advise you to seek professional help.
While you can live without spending any money it is mighty difficult in our advanced economies. Living without money is possible in only the most primitive of societies where water, food is free.