Have you ever experienced anxiety over spending money?
Do you turn a simple purchase into a research project?
Do you wake up in the middle of the night with cold sweats worrying about whether you got a good deal?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may have Frugal Anxiety Disorder, also commonly known as penny pinching.
Common Signs of Frugality
Value Addiction: You have a high net worth, yet you negotiate your cable bill regularly.
Retail Price Repulsion: You are absolutely incapable of paying retail price for purchases, and feel dirty when forced to do so.
Debt Allergies: You have an acute allergic reaction to most types of debt, and make it your mission to eliminate them from your life permanently.
Budgets Turn You On: You have an inexplicable attraction to budgets, and get strange satisfaction from tracking your spending.
If you’ve ever exhibited any of the signs mentioned, or have been accused by someone of being too frugal or cheap, you may have Frugal Anxiety Disorder.
Common Treatments For Frugality
Don’t panic just yet! There are some things you can do to curb your anxiety and live a healthy normal life.
Become Debt-Free: Nothing has helped reduce my anxiety over money more than being completely debt free. It’s a liberating feeling, and one of the cornerstones of financial independence. If you want a huge injection of anxiety elimination, pay off your mortgage and see how you feel after.
Track your Net Worth: It’s amazing to watch something that started off so small, grow into something much larger. Our net worth has grown significantly over the past 5 years, in fact it’s grown by over 150%. I wonder if it’s coincidence that I started using Personal Capital’s Free Net Worth Tracker around the same time. I firmly believe that you are what you measure when it comes to personal finance. When you can see a clear picture of your finances with little effort, it reduces anxiety associated with the unknown.
Start a Blog: Before this blog I had very few outlets for expressing my thoughts and opinions on personal finance related topics. There aren’t many people in my circle of family and friends that genuinely enjoy talking about that topic. Most of the time they humor me. In a lot of ways this blog feels like therapy, and has allowed me to engage with the wider personal finance community of like-minded people. Check out how you can start your own blog.
Have Fun: For us this is primarily traveling. Although it seems counterintuitive, I’ve learned this is a great way to de-stress. It’s true you’re spending money when traveling, but if you budget for it ahead of time and stick to your plan, it eliminates some of the anxiety. But beyond that, it’s a reminder of why you’ve been frugal to begin with, and a great way to change the scenery.
I’ll be keeping it short today, since I’ve decided that I will be posting a longer standard post each week, and a shorter more fun one occasionaly.
Do you have Frugal Anxiety Disorder? How have you treated your Frugality?