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How to Avoid A Savings Addiction

  August 6

This post may contain affiliate links.

savings addictionThe following is a guest post from the very talented Jessi. Jessi is a wife, mother, and avid budget fanatic. She is the author of The Budget Mama, a lifestyle blog dedicated to helping others reach their full financial potential. She covers topics from Personal Finance, DIY projects, Green Living, Organization, Recipes, and the joy and tears of Mommyhood.

If you are interested in guest posting at Budget Blonde, please e-mail me at Cat[at]BudgetBlonde[dot]com. Now, without further ado, Jessi:

A savings addiction??? I mean, isn’t that a good thing? Well, yes and no. It’s a great thing when you are truly saving your family money but believe it or not, you can actually become addicted to penny pitching – so much so that you end up costing you and your family money.

How do you know if you’re addicted to saving money? Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Do you find yourself getting excited about a coupon for a new product and then run out to the store to immediately take advantage of the sale plus coupon?
  • Do you get an email from your favorite online store advertising a great sale on a certain item you’ve been wanting and then make the purchase without consulting your budget?
  • Do you find yourself having to justify your purchases? {Either to yourself or significant other}

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be addicted to saving money. Saving money is a great thing but only when you don’t get carried away. By allowing yourself to become consumed by saving money, you can sometimes end up costing yourself money.

Take for example question one, getting an item on sale plus a coupon is great. But if you don’t need the item and you don’t have any blow money in your budget to spend on it, then it is costing you money.

In question two, you are actually compulsive shopping. When I first started getting really into saving money, I found myself falling into this trap a lot. I ended up having to take $300 out of my emergency fund to cover my “savings”. Ouch.

Question three, if you find yourself feeling any type of guilt after a purchase, that’s a dead giveaway that you’ve overspent and you need to reevaluate your saving strategy.

So, how can you overcome your addiction?

  • Change your settings in your payment profiles on the online stores where you shop. Take your debit/credit card completely off so when you go to make a purchase you actually have to find your physical card and enter it in. This will allow you some time to consider your purchase.
  • Either unsubscribe from all the deal newsletters you receive via email or have them automatically sent to a specific folder in your email so you can check them later.
  • Before running out and using a new coupon, read the product reviews {if available} for the product. Do some research; this will buy you some time to think about the product and its worth. Just because you have a coupon or it is a fantastic deal does not mean you must buy it.
  • When making a purchase, give it some real thought. Do you need this item? How will this item benefit me/my family? What will be the final cost to me? Will this item cause me to go over budget?

Editor’s Note: I’m also a really big fan of unsubscribing from store e-mails. It’s a great tip that has worked well for me. Thanks for your time and the great post, Jessi!

Have you ever found yourself falling victim to the exciting addiction of saving money?

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34 responses to “How to Avoid A Savings Addiction

  1. My addiction is hoarding money. I hardly spend money on myself, and I hate it. I feel guilty about anything that I spend on myself, but I will jump to it when it comes to buying someone else something.

    1. I have found that I go through seasons where I hoard money and spend money. I hate spending to spend money on myself but I can definitely easily lose control when it comes to my kids or hubs!

      1. I’m the same as michelle I sometimes feel a twing of guilt of dumb but necessary things like tampons or haircut. I’m the only one who needs it so have to spend the money. Stupid, I know.

        Great post!

  2. I feel I’m pretty equally balanced about spending/saving now. Way more that I used to be a year ago. For instance last night I went out for a burger and a beer. I hardly eat out, but was ready to enjoy some social time with a friend and I do this guilt free, because I know that maintaining my relationships and social life needs to be balanced out with saving money.

  3. I agree that hoarding money is an issue that can get out of control. I’ve been reluctant to pay necessary bills because I didn’t want to deplete my emergency fund–even though that’s what it was there for! In trying to recognize this issue, I have been better at self-correcting.

  4. I’m like Michelle. I’m addicted to saving money in my bank account. But I’ll have to admit that I sometimes am lured by great deals and coupons. I used to go on deals sites all the time. I rarely bought but when I saw a great deal on an item I was going to buy anything I’d get it. Yea, once in awhile this did lead me to buy things that I really didn’t need though.

    1. It’s so easy to fall victim to saving money especially when you see the money in your bank account! One thing I started to do to help keep me from continuously falling prey to this is to pull out cash and keep it hidden away in my house. It’s the best kind of hoarding! {So long as I don’t forget where I stored it away! :)}

  5. Ahh yes…the old spending money to save money trick. Look at what I got! It was on sale! I saved so much!

    Savings, in my opinion, is one of those things that is NOT better in moderation. Besides, what do we do with all that stuff anyway?

    1. Yeah, that was going to be my comment– sounds like a spending addiction, not a saving addiction. With a saving addiction, you don’t buy the stuff just because you have a coupon or there’s a sale, and there are no purchases to justify.

  6. I’m with Michelle and Andrew. I’m a compulsive saver in the sense of hoarding money and I hate shopping unless I’ve saved for and talked myself into a purchase. But this is a great post for people who feel justified in always shopping sales only to see they’re depleting their savings! I do fall victim to travel deal traps though. Fire sales from airlines always make me want to just hop a plane without a plan.

  7. I am addicted to the idea of buying gadgets (like for the kitchen or tech), but then I generally only imagine myself buying something and usually don’t get it. So I guess it’s not terrible, but every once in a while, that urge manifests itself and I do buy something.

    I get those emails all the time about “50% TODAY ONLY” and stuff like that but then I started realizing that those stores are doing that frequently enough that I can count on that sale returning when I do need to shop for clothing. So twice a year, if we need a trip to the outlet mall, I know that there’s a good chance my favorite store will be having a sale.

    1. They truly do run the same sales over and over again. After working in retail for 5 years I also realized that black Friday wasn’t worth it. Those same sales & sometimes better ones came back around right before & after Christmas. Those marketing gurus love to pull us in! 🙂

  8. Thanks for this post. I like how you’ve approached our ideas of “saving” money via spending…kind of a pervasive and complicated issue in our culture. We’re always “saving” 15% on this or that, but it’s kind of a bastardization of the term.

  9. I think having to justify your purchase before you make it is not a bad thing. It makes you battle the wants and needs syndrome and find out what the true purpose of the purchase is. I don’t thin that really has to do with saving money, but more with being conscious of where your money is going.

    1. I agree! Unfortunately we’ve gone from knowing where every last penny of our hard earned money is going before it goes to trying to figure out where it went. Being more conscious of where our money is going is definitely the way to beat the spending money to save money syndrome.

  10. I tell my friend this all the time! You don’t have to use every last coupon/email you get! They send those things out hoping you’ll buy something you never would have even considered otherwise.

  11. I’m pretty sure this has happened to me. When we first started budgeting, I would always try to beat the prior months numbers. For example, if one month I spent $100 on clothes, the next month I would only try to spend $90. And then $80. And so on. Obviously this was not sustainable. Sure I was saving more…but I had no clothing! 🙂

  12. I think its a matter of looking at life cycle costs. If you run out to purchase a new item as soon as it goes on sale, you’re still spending more than your baseline. The nest way to stop buying stuff is to just stop looking at ads.

  13. I think this has definitely happened to me with some of the deal emails. For the most part, though, I end up using coupons and taking advantage of deals on things that I actually need.

  14. I think that a savings addiction is something you grow out of. When I first started saving and budgeting, I was definitely addicted. Over time, the excitement wore off.

    It’s still fun to save but not quite as addictive as it used to be.

  15. I used to have a savings addiction to the point that I felt guilty about spending money on anything other than rent, groceries, and transportation. It was an unhappy and unsustainable way of living. I’ve definitely loosened up more recently (maybe too much). These tips are great to keep in mind. I never save my CC info to a site. It’s way to easy to complete a transaction in one click.

  16. #1 is a great point. I see lots of people get caught up on their couponing that they don’t realize they are buying some things just because they have a coupon. I unsubscribe to a lot of store email too. They clutter up my inbox so I sometimes miss actual emails and I don’t need the temptation. 🙂 Great tips!

  17. For many the savings addiction does become a high. This one girl we know she went nuts with coupons and ended up selling all the free stuff she got a garage sale for profit. Penny pinching can be the demise of someone’s well being and relationship if they are not careful. Happiness does not sit in the bank account it starts and ends with a compromise to keep organized finances and living life to the fullest. Great post.

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