Do you have a crazy fear of spending money on yourself? Just the thought of the dwindling number in your bank account makes you nervous? You are not the only one!
The fear of spending money is called chrometophobia. According to data, only 5% of the population suffers from it but it is easy to think why.
I don’t know about you but I have never heard of anyone going to a psychologist because they want to be diagnosed with this kind of fear.
No one would spend money (lol), time and energy to be told ‘yes you are right you have this fear’, it is also a bit of a taboo subject.
I myself have this kind of fear but I have never mentioned it to anyone, and most probably, neither have you.
Chrometophobia is the fear of spending money, those who have it feel happier when they keep their money in their bank account than when they spend it.
Many people belong to the second category, they are ‘spenders’. People who feel joy in exchanging their money for something that brings them the same value.
Often everyone tends towards one or the other.
Now before I fill you in with Useful tips to stop the fear of spending money on yourself, I want to explore together why you have this extreme fear of ending up with empty pockets.
Why you have the fear of spending money on yourself
All our adult behaviour begins in our childhood. And our relationship with money is no different.
Of course if you are afraid to spend money on yourself or others, you certainly grew up around an atmosphere of anxiety and fear when it came to your parents’ finances.
Chances are that you grew up in poverty, where every penny constituted your survival.
If, on the other hand, you were born and grew up wealthy, but still have a tendency to hold on to every penny, it is probably a fear passed on by your parents.
Whatever the reason, the solution is simple:
You have to realise that by now the worst is over, that you are safe, and that buying that perfume or that suit you like so much will not bankrupt you. Pinky swear.
However, you are already too far along in the process to fail. You have searched and clicked on this post, so the day for change has arrived.
Now enough of the psychological session, and let’s start with the best tips for building a positive money mindset.
5 Ways to Fix the Fear of Spending Money on Yourself (I love the fourth one)
Do you feel Anxious When you Spend Money? You don’t mind giving gifts to others but when it comes to yourself your wallet closes?
I got you!
Think of why you are saving money
Of course, I am convinced that many of you will say “Of course, to feel safe in case something happens” and by all means, it is valid.
But. As much as this answer may make sense, inside you know that there is something else.
We all know that one day, maybe tomorrow maybe 100 years from now, we will leave this earth.
So why are you keeping your money?
Money itself is just pieces of paper, its value lies in what you can exchange it for.
So if you don’t use them, if you hide them in your pillow to keep them close to you, what value do they have? You put money aside because you want to spend it on something you want, that’s the game.
So understand what it is that you want and buy it. Your happiness is worth much more than a full bank account.
(of course, all these words refer to those who have difficulty spending money on themselves, if you have the opposite problem and spend far too much, go here)
Aren’t you scared of NOT spending?
I don’t want this article to become all about, we’re going to die…Live while you have time…Use what you have now!…etc.
But it is simply the truth.
Often the only way to overcome our fears is to think of the opposite situation.
What happens if I don’t move? What happens if I don’t take up this offer? What happens if I save my money until the end?
I will tell you something simple and straightforward.
When you are on the fatal bed the only thing you will think about is not the numbers, but your experiences.
What your loved ones will remember with a smile will not be your bank account, but the experiences you had with them. Your children will only remember the time spent with you and how you made them feel.
If every time you spend money on yourself or others, you sulk, you will completely ruin the experience. The money will be spent but nobody will be happy.
So, buy that holiday, take that trip but also start with the smallest things, buy that expensive dessert that attracts you so much and enjoy it to the last bite!
Start with a small bite
As I have already told you, start with something insignificant.
Fears are overcome one step at a time, if you are afraid of spiders and catch a tarantula in your hand you are sure to find yourself in the emergency room. If, on the other hand, you catch a small spider, you will be afraid but you will certainly feel safer.
(I’m arachnophobic if that wasn’t clear).
In short, the exact same logic applies with spending money.
Start small, you want an inexpensive but above your average watch? Buy it! Want a lipstick? Self-gift it!
You will see that it is like exercising a muscle, after a while you will realise that you have just made a big purchase without even feeling the shadow of anxiety.
It is possible to spend your money freely AND still be responsible for your finances. And you will succeed!
Use Neuroplasticity to your advantage
I’m not going to use technical terms here because I know that’s not what you’re looking for.
So I will be clear and straightforward. There are many ways to build a positive money mindset and stop the fear of spending money on yourself but one of the most efficient is neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of our neural networks to change according to the personal growth of each individual.
Previously it was believed that the brain was only ‘plastic’ in childhood, but now it is realised that it does not stop evolving even in adulthood.
What does this mean? Simple, it means that your beliefs, your fears, your opinions are not set in stone, on the contrary.
Even in adulthood it is possible to change your perception of yourself and the world around you.
So how does this translate into actionable steps?
I will tell you straight away, first, essential, you must recognise negative beliefs when it comes to spending money on yourself.
Take a notebook and write down what your mind thinks when you are about to spend money.
It will probably come out something like this:
- This is not important enough to spend all this money
- I could spend this money on something useful
- What if I then need the money and I don’t have it?
- I don’t deserve to spend this money on myself because….
- When I have more money to spare then I will buy it
Do you recognise anyone in these sentences? Most probably, that is exactly what happens in your mind.
And I know because that’s what happens in mine.
What can you do to silence these negative thoughts once and for all?
Affirmations. Affirmations, Affirmations!
Do you know why affirmations work? They allow you to believe a version of reality even if it is completely different from the one you are experiencing.
Our brain spends its entire life trying to prove our beliefs. Test it if you don’t believe it!
Start saying all the time that you see yellow cars (wink wink) and your brain will start noticing all the yellow cars around you.
Here is how you can use this in your favour.
Take every single negative belief and turn it into a positive one.
- It is worth spending money on something like this if it makes me happy
- If I want it it means that it has a utility for me and that is enough motivation to buy it
- Buying this item will not bankrupt me, I am safe
- I earned this money honestly and I deserve to spend it on what I want
- There is no point in having money to spare if I will never use it, money is only for buying things of value. Nothing else
See? It’s not difficult at all but it will make you feel much better immediately. I feel better myself already just after writing them down here.
Try and repeat these sentences whenever you feel the fear of spending money on yourself coming back. You deserve it, you really do.
Give yourself a budget to spend every month
The fear of spending money on yourself stems from not feeling safe, from the fear of spending so much that you will find yourself broke again.
But all is not lost, there is a way that will allow you to feel safe and simultaneously buy what you want without guilt.
This technique is especially useful if you have an income every single month.
Give yourself a figure.
Not insignificant, but not exaggerated either.
At least 5% of what you earn each month, to start with.
And spend that amount every month ONLY on yourself. It is not worth gifts to others and it is not worth food.
Consider that you are giving a gift to a friend but do it to yourself.
This will have two effects:
- You will feel more confident when you spend that amount because it will become a habit.
- When you want something, you know you can buy it either now or next month. You no longer have to wait for an indefinite future when you will be richer.
Life is sometimes not exactly what we signed up for when we came down here, so why not make it better by treating yourself better in the first place?
I assure you that nothing will raise your self-esteem and confidence as much as showing love to the person who has been and will always be there for you.
You deserve a healthy relationship with money, do it for your inner child who did not feel safe enough as a child.
Protect her and don’t let her continue to suffer because of defence mechanisms that are no longer needed.
Enjoy life and if you found these tips to stop the fear of spending money on yourself useful and want to give a little help here’s what you can do:
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