You Only Talk About Money
Is money the only thing you can talk about? Are your friends getting sick of hearing about your finances? Is your partner getting frustrated that you only ever want to talk about money? Are your favorite websites all about money and investments? While it’s good to get information and it’s definitely good to be open about finances with your partner, it is possible to talk too much about money. If you find the people in your life are getting tired of hearing about financial subjects, you might be obsessed with money.
You Don’t Know What “Enough” Money Is
Do you have a savings goal or are you trying to just keep saving as much money as you can? Is there a point where you will be confident that you have enough money? Do you know how much you should be saving for retirement, or is your goal just “more?” If you can’t decide what it means to have enough money, you might be obsessed with money.
It can be hard to figure out how much you should have in your emergency fund or how much you should save for retirement, but there are great calculators out there that can give you a good estimate. Aim for that. Aim for a bit above it if it makes you comfortable. But at some point, you have to stop trying to increase those numbers and decide what it means to have enough.
You Avoid Spending Money
Do you keep a tight fist on your money, not because you need to, but because you feel the need to keep saving money? Are you frugal to a fault? This is a tell-tale sign you are obsessed with money. If you’re working your way out of debt, the situation might be different, but if you are obsessed with cost cutting and refuse to join friends for any activity that involves spending money simply because you want to keep your money, your obsession is likely hurting you. While it is good to save money, you also do need to spend money. As a family member of mine likes to say “You can’t spend it when you’re dead.”
You Keep Comparing Finances With Others
Are you always looking to find out what those around you have and how much they are saving? Do you read online forums where people talk about how much money they have in investments and think you should try to keep up? When you meet someone new, do you try to figure out their financial situation, even if you aren’t asking about it outright? This is absolutely a tell-tale sign you are obsessed with money. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” If you are constantly comparing yourself to others, you are certain to be miserable. There will always be someone with “better” finances than you.
You’re Constantly Looking to “Get Rich”
Are you always looking for easy ways to increase your income? And rather than trying the small things like picking up a side-gig, are you looking for something that will bring in the big bucks? Do you find yourself wondering if you should get in on new MLMs after hearing people talk about all the money they make? Do you spend a lot of time obsessing over investments and wondering if the next big thing is just around the corner? If you’re obsessed with getting rich, you are likely obsessed with money.
Money Isn’t Everything
While money is important (unfortunately), it isn’t everything. You need to have balance in your life. If you are showing signs that you are obsessed with money, maybe it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate. Do you have enough money? Do you need to make more or plan better for retirement? You don’t need to completely ignore your finances, but you shouldn’t be spending all of your time and energy focusing on money.
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Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.