Katherine McLaughlin

Summary List Placement
I have loved saving and budgeting since I was a kid. But saving eventually became an unhealthy compulsion for me.
After years of denying myself every small pleasure, I experienced “frugality fatigue” and went on a splurging binge, even dipping into my savings.
I realized I had to make a change to protect my future wealth, so I added fun spending and a weekly treat to my budget so I don’t feel deprived.
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The first time I created a savings plan, I was 8 years old. I wanted an iPod Shuffle. I needed $100 to make the purchase, so I saved my $5 allowance each week until I finally had the magic amount. I still remember the day my dad took me to Best Buy and I emptied my entire piggy bank — one $5 bill at a time — at the checkout counter and walked away with my new iPod. 

The experience shaped the way I managed my money for years. Having control over my money was thrilling, and I loved the idea that I could save and budget to get the things I wanted. As I grew older and started earning more money, being “a saver” became a part of my identity. 

But over time, being frugal turned into a compulsion. Almost like a game with myself — how little could I actually spend while still ensuring I had the necessities? I was always looking for the cheaper option, I never bought anything “just for fun,” I rarely ate out, and I’d often miss out on events with friends just because I didn’t want to spend the money to participate. While frugality is certainly not a bad trait to have, I took it to such an extreme level that I wasn’t enjoying the benefits of the money I earned. I was no longer controlling money — I was letting it control me. 

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Frugality fatigue led to overspending

I realized I was experiencing “frugality fatigue.” It’s a term used by some sociologists to describe budgeting burnout. Essentially, being so frugal for so long that it becomes too hard to keep up with, eventually leading to financial breakdown and frivolous overspending. Like so many things in life — dieting and working out to name a few — going “all in” all at once is unsustainable in the long run. I got tired of watching my bank statements and denying myself the things I wanted. Doing “the right thing” all the time was getting old. 

It didn’t happen all at once, but slowly, my budget disappeared. One purchase here, another there. Giving in felt so good. If I wanted something, I bought it. For about six months, I was on a complete splurging spree. I bought clothes, expensive tech gear, furniture, anything I could get my hands on. Luckily, I never spent …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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