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 might 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 a 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 massive injection of anxiety elimination, pay off your mortgage, and see how you feel after.
Track your Net Worth: It’s incredible to watch something that started so small, grow into something much more significant. Our net worth has grown significantly over the past five years; in fact, it’s increased by over 150%. I wonder if it’s a 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 broader personal finance community of like-minded people. Check out how you can start your blog.
Have Fun: For us, this is primarily traveling. Although it seems counterintuitive, I’ve learned this is a great way to de-stress. You’re indeed 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.
You can call me Max…I’m a Gen-X executive planning to retire from the corporate grind by the age of 45. Although I’m already financially independent, I haven’t yet reached true financial freedom. Join me on my journey as we discuss everything from personal finance to travel and beyond.