My father used to say, "Everything in moderation." Well spoken. Yes, me, Mr. Thrifty, believes you can be too frugal. As a matter of fact, financial therapists refer to this disorder as "underspending." That's so clever, I never would have thought of it.
How Do You Know If You're An Underspender?
In general, you have trouble enjoying your own money; you'll neglect yourself and you're proud of it. Here are some great examples:
- You don't go to the doctor when you're sick; I mean really sick. Not that spending money at the doctor's office is a great way to enjoy your money.
- You don't fix your house. For instance, the roof leaks in your bedroom, directly over your bed.
- Even though you have substantial savings and little or no debt, you have anxiety over going broke.
- Although it's adequate, you complain about a product or service, hoping to get it free.
What Can I Do To Overcome Being An Underspender?
In this case, reverse therapy works. Use a credit card. YES, that's right! Research shows you'll spend 20% less if you use cash, so by using a credit card you'll spend more.
Research also shows that an underspender is more likely to spend if they consider the purchase a long-term investment. So, by telling them going to the doctor it is an investment in their health, they're more likely to go and make the investment.
Another remedy is chocolate cake; if you're on a diet, you can eat chocolate cake...occasionally. When it comes to spending, you're allowed to splurge every now and then. Same goes for the underspender; create a splurge budget and that'll allow them to spend money on something they normally wouldn't have. Hopefully, not the doctor.
Last advice on curing the underspender is to bundle expenditures together. Since it's painful for an underspender to spend, it's better if they spend all at once, such as an all-inclusive vacation (not likely that the underspender would go on vacation, but you get my drift.) If they only have to make the spending decision once, it's all taken care of.
Do you know any one who might be an "underspender?"