Have you poured a half finished glass of orange juice back into the carton? Have you taken toilet paper down from your trees after being TP’d to use for its original purpose? I have heard of people doing just that. Have you done outrageous things just to save money? Are you happy with this lifestyle? Do you need to be so frugal?
We’ve all heard of peoples’ frugal habits, and just as spending too much money can be a problem, so can spending too little. If your situation does not require you to be extremely frugal, then why are you? Is it a goal you’ve set for yourself? Is it a challenge you enjoy? Or is it an addiction that needs to be stopped? Sure, you may have debt, or maybe not make as much as you want, and most of us could save more, but we have to achieve some kind of balance and avoid these problems.
One problem with spending all of your life saving as much as you can is you may look back on your life and all you have to show for it is a pile of money and a string of wasted opportunities. This may be okay for some miserly people, but a healthy individual enjoys himself throughout his life.
Not knowing how to enjoy retirement
When you finally reach retirement and you decide you can spend some of the money you’ve saved, can you decide what you want to do with all of that money you saved? Have you been saving so long that interest in anything but saving has long since withered away?
Retirement can also be the time when your health gets worse. What if your health gives out and what you were planning to do is no longer feasible? The vacations you were going to take, the second house you were going to buy, the old car you were going to rebuild, etc.? Anything can be limited or nixed entirely by failing health.
Bad Family Relationships
Family members don’t necessarily share your frugal bug. I’ve heard of people getting nothing but hand-me-downs and never anything new. Worse, they did without many basic items all because their parents wanted to save a few dollars. It wasn’t because they needed to, but they were addicted to saving money. This may seem like nothing to some, but it hurts emotionally and sends the wrong message to children. Life is more than just about money.
Becoming a Jerk
Cheating is another way you can harm others. I know people who will complain about food or service, just to get a discounted or free meal. They do this every time they go out to eat. Others I know have stolen silverware, or emptied condiment containers into secret containers hidden in clothing or purses. Others have had no qualms about mooching off others food and hospitality just because they didn’t want to spend any of their own money.
Stealing music, movies, software, etc. with today’s technology is easy, but it’s also illegal. No matter where you stand on this issue, if caught, the consequences can be worse than spending the money.
I’m not suggesting we all necessarily live for today and forget about tomorrow. And some people have no choice but to watch what they spend very closely. That still doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t enjoy life as much as we can while at the same time setting aside money to continue to do so in the future. Find a healthy balance and stick with it. You’ll be happier for it.
Image courtesy of Tim Somero