Yes, it is true there are people who have an irrational fear of spending.
Very Well Mind describes this condition as Chrometophobia. This is when people find it difficult to manage money whether spending it or even paying bills even though they have the means to do so. This is a combination of the Greek word “chermato” which is money and “phobos” meaning fear. And it is a real condition people go through.
Clear symptoms of Chrometophobia
Here are some of the symptoms to help you understand the situation better.
Hesitant to think and manage money – when you find yourself avoiding managing and even thinking about your finances, it could be an indicator that you have this type of phobia.
Shying away from normal activities – there might be times when you begin to exclude yourself from activities you love to enjoy before.
Outright refusal to touch money – if you find it difficult to touch and hold money, it could point to chrometophobia.
Addressing your fear of spending
If you believe that you are undergoing this specific type of fear, there are a few things you can do to help you manage your situation better.
Accept that you have a fear of spending
When going through a tough time, a lot of people often forget that they need to accept there is a problem. The longer you put this off, the longer you delay your path to recovery or finding a solution. Take a look at hoarders – they cannot accept that they have a problem even with a mountain of items inside their homes.
When it comes to fear of actually spending money, there are signs along the way to help tell you there is a problem. It would help if you recognize these so you can recognize the problem you are facing. If you choose to overlook these signs, you run the risk of ignoring the problem. When this happens, it will be more difficult to find a solution to your current situation.
Identify the cause of your phobia
Now that you have accepted the fact that you have a problem, the next logical step is to identify the root cause of your phobia. It seems to be an easy step but it is one of the most challenging ones you have to take. It is not as straightforward as you might think. If you had a challenging time accepting that you have a problem, this part will be quite difficult as well.
There are several types of approaches you can take when trying to determine the root cause of your irrational fear of handling money. You can take a day off and try to understand your current situation. Look back at experiences or situations in your life that might have led to your fear of spending money. It can be painful experiences in the past or a traumatic experience with money.
You can also choose to talk to people who know you to try and get an honest-to-goodness assessment of your finances. They might be able to help you understand your situation a lot better. You can also explore the possibility of working with a professional to help you determine the cause of your phobia. There are times when a third-party observation can help you look beyond the obvious and find what you are looking for.
Make a priority list
If you have a fear of spending, putting a priority spending list together could help you move forward and overcome your phobia. The reason for this is that there are times when your fear is based on the unknown. But if you are able to put a list together of the items you need to spend on, it could help you start managing your finances better.
It is a good idea always to base your spending on your long and short-term goals. This helps put sense and direction with how you need to spend your money. One thing that can help is ensuring you line up your list with your long and short-term goals. This will help you put together a clear list of your expenses based on where you want to be.
If your goal is to retire to a different state with a smaller and more manageable house, then upkeep and maintenance of your current home could be a priority. This will help you sell your property faster in the future. If your goal is to pursue your hobby in baking, expenses could revolve around baking equipment and supplies. The important thing is if you know your priority, you can align and feel safer with your expenses.
Find an outlet
There are times when it is a bit challenging when you try to determine why you have a fear of spending. It is possible that you could be too hard on yourself and somehow develop this irrational fear whenever you try and spend money. One of the things that could help you get out of that situation is to look for an outlet.
This is usually a hobby that you like doing. It can be cooking, painting, or even going out for a run or a bike. When you spend time doing the things you like, it helps you clear your head and gives you the chance to think straight. This might even lead to starting an income-positive hobby where you earn extra money while doing something you already love doing.
Turn that fear into savings and plans for the future
If you have a fear of using and spending money, it could mean that you could be holding on to it for as long as you possibly can. At a certain level, this is dangerous because you might not be paying your bills and other important expenses. But if you are able to do that and simp.y hold on to what is left, then you could probably channel that money into a savings account.
If you are uncertain how you should use your money, you can temporarily put it in a savings account. One account in particular that you could focus on is your emergency fund. This can help you feel safer knowing you have a dependable reserve fund for emergencies. You can also put in more towards your retirement fund. The important thing is to save your money for future needs.
You can even invest that money into a business or even for self-improvement. It might be difficult to see the value in this at the beginning. But if you put in the work, over time you will see the positive effect it could have on your finances.
Seek professional help
There are instances where you might already need the help of a professional to help you understand and address your fear of spending. Book a therapy session to help you understand and dig deep into your situation. They can guide you better in realizing what led to your current situation. With that in mind, you would be able to look for solutions that can work.
It is not uncommon to have a fear of spending money but this is manageable. A lot of people could have gone through with this, especially with the recent pandemic but there are strategies to help you get out of it.