We can all agree that it’s easier to spend rather than save money. Who could resist upgrading to the latest mobile phone, getting the newest laptop, or buying that pretty dress? If only we had unlimited resources, saving money would be out of our vocabulary.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. In the real world, our desires are always much bigger than our available resources—thus the need to save money. You save money ultimately to confidently pursue things without having to worry about where and how you will get the needed resources.
However, people usually have a hard time saving because it demands dedication and a lot of will power. On the other extreme, however, people can end up obsessed with saving that it becomes disruptive instead of being helpful. We know that too much of something, even of a good thing, can be bad for us. So here are ways to identify when oversaving is hurting your financial goals in the long run:
You scrimp even on your needs
Building your wealth is not the end-all and be-all of financial planning. The ultimate goal is for you to have enough resources to live the life you want, especially when you retire.
Do you take too long to decide whether you will get a thing that will just cost you a peso more, even if it means you’re getting better quality? The number one symptom of oversaving is when you always worry too much about keeping money that you sacrifice even your basic needs.
Most often, this habit is also reflected on misconceptions about spending. Some people opt not to invest on life or health plans because they think their money is better being put in a savings account, but it is important to note that there is a big difference between being frugal and being a miser.
You overwork yourself
There is wisdom in the saying “work smart, not hard”. But some people prefer to waste their precious time on working even when they already have accumulated enough resources to start a business, invest, or even retire. Oversaving is often fueled by fear of outliving your resources when you decide to retire. There is nothing wrong with working and earning your living, but you should also account that time is one of the limited resources you should invest in properly.
You miss on opportunities to create and enjoy life’s moments
Consumer psychologists have a term for the behavior when people always see things too far ahead that they miss enjoying the present. They call it hyperopia. Because you are too focused on saving up for the future, you forego of the opportunities to invest in things or experiences that allow you and your loved ones make the most of the present. You may feel guilty of spending for a family vacation even if you know it will allow you to enjoy and strengthen your bond with your family or you may forego of buying things your loved ones might enjoy and appreciate, thinking that your money is much better be placed in your savings account.
The problem with hyperopia is the feeling of regret that you missed opportunities to invest on your relationships when you look back at your life.
Being financially responsible calls for balance in the way you handle your finances. You don’t have to compromise the present in order to secure your future. Oversaving can be a real problem and it is important to address it now because what is at stake is your quality of life now and in the future.