Trees Along Taconic Parkway Home Page Services Books & Articles Bibliographies Resources Money And Relationships Q&A

Professional Statement Contact Dr. Trachtman Ask Dr. T.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Question 10

Dear Dr. T.

   I am a college student. I have a problem with spending money, not with spending too much but with often being unwilling to spend. There are a lot of nice things that I want and that I can afford, but I can never bring myself to spend large amounts of money at one time, in fear that I might need that money in the near future. Is this common, and if not how could I go about being more willing to buy the things I want?

Dear R.

   A reluctance to spend for fear that money may be needed in the future is not unusual. Usually the impulse to save money for the future is at least partly based on realistic concern. But it can be blown out of proportion and unreasonably restrict one's  ability to use some money for  present day needs or for enjoyment of life. It is a question of balance.

You should have some idea of what expenses you will face in the future and try to plan for meeting these. It is also a good idea to build a "rainy day fund" and put away at least several months worth of savings to help carry you through those hard times when you won't have an income available or face some unexpected emergency. But, allowing for at least some pleasure in your life, if you are financially able to afford it, is also very important to your emotional wellbeing. If you haven't already done so I suggest reading pages 147-150 of my book: A Little Bit Of Hedonism Is A Good Thing, Using Money To Increase Pleasure, and Diversify Your Pleasure Portfolio.  [Note: This student is taking a class in The Ethics of Making Money for which my book, Money And The Pursuit Of Happiness, is required reading.)

I have no formula for how much you should save or spend. Since you have trouble allowing  yourself to spend, I recommend that you give yourself a pleasure spending allowance (you decide how much) to be used for at least some of those nice things that you want and will enjoy, while still making sure that you are planning for your future and not going into debt. If you want something that seems a bit extravagant, save part of your allowance until you can pay for it.
Dr. T.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Ask Dr. T.