5 Signs You’re Too Tight with Money and How to Loosen the Purse Strings

If you have made money mistakes in the past which caused you to struggle financially, you may now be obsessed with earning and saving money because you’re afraid to face that stress once again.

Saving money is a good thing, but anything that gets excessive in life is bad. Money is no exception.

An obsession over stockpiling cash can make you feel like you’re depriving yourself of the good things in life. While being tight with money can help you achieve your financial goals, when it gets too excessive, it can become detrimental and unhealthy, not only mentally, but also emotionally and socially.

Here are some warning signs that you might be too obsessed with money and how you can get out of this unhealthy relationship.

Sign #1: You’re afraid to treat yourself

Saving is your main goal all the time. It’s your topmost priority to hold on to your cash to the point that you’re depriving yourself of new experiences and sweet treats. Your day-to-day routine is to earn, and then save. Indulging yourself and enjoying luxuries are the last things on your mind.

What is life, without pleasures? It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. This will remind you that a fat wallet is just a means to an end. The goal is for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Sign #2: You always compare yourself with others

Comparing oneself to others has always been a problem for one’s self-esteem. It can manifest inferiority complex and skew your own view of what happiness really is. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.”

It might appear that people are well-off in life because of their extravagant lifestyle but behind closed doors, debt seems a more likely outcome. If you think a bloated bank account will help you keep up with the Joneses, think again. Once you’re caught up in the ‘lifestyle inflation’ cycle, nothing is ever enough.

Take a positive perspective when comparing yourself with others. Instead of feeling envious, shift your emotion into a motivation that will inspire you to reach your own goals and to improve the important aspects of your life, such as your health, knowledge or personal relationships.

Sign #3: You decline opportunities

Another sign that your “frugality” is doing more harm than good is when you frequently turn down opportunities. This could include putting off travelling to your dream destination or seeing your favorite artist perform live.

When you’re afraid to spend money, you may miss out on new, exciting experiences that don’t happen so often.

Keep on growing your savings, but do set aside some cash for “splurging” on leisure. Being practical is important, but saying ‘no’ to every opportunity that comes your way doesn’t make for a fulfilling life.

Sign #4: Your relationship with family and friends are deteriorating

Your obsession with money may be damaging your relationships with those closest to you. This may be because you work too much, or because you turn down the occasional get-together with friends and family for fear of dipping into your already bloated savings.

Spending time with your loved ones does not necessarily mean you have to spend a lot of money all the time.

Learn to be creative without being a penny-pincher. You can invite them over for a fun game night. Have a potluck dinner, or even a simple movie night at your place. There are plenty of activities you can do without having to spend a fortune.

Sign #5: You cut down on your basic needs

If you excessively cut down on your basic essentials such as food, toiletries, clothing, doctor appointments and other basic needs, you’re likely to have an unhealthy relationship with money.

When you’re hesitant to spend on basic necessities because you think you can survive without it, you could be doing yourself serious harm, especially when it comes to your health.

Trimming your expenses can help you save a great deal, but when putting your well-being on the line in so doing, it can have the opposite effect. If you have to skimp on something, ensure your basic needs are met before you make that decision.



Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books–written by men–barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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