Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.

Greedy or Cheap?

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Oct 7, 2012 7:16 PM

Greed and cheapness go together. Some people learn these habits in childhood. Others acquire them as compensation for insecurity, feelings of inadequacy or fear of the future. At its best, cheapness and greed help people save money and build financial security. At its worse, cheapness and greed destroy opportunities and relationships.

For example, there's a man we'll call Mike who saved lots of money clipping coupons, sending in for rebates and scrimping on everything. He didn't live too small but got the best bargain on everything. People admired his rusted car, his good savings account and his ability to retire young. However, he was afraid to start a business, to go on vacation and repair his property at the same time and to spend money in a way which would make his wife happy. He guarded every cent with the exception of paying for his children's education. In some ways, he made out OK. But he lost his perspective and integrity along the way. Poor guy.

Then, there was the wealthy lawyer whom we'll call Jim. He spent money only on what he absolutely wanted,including some charities, saved and invested everything possible and made his wife and children beg for their little luxuries. If he didn't think it was imposrtant, it didn't exist. Control is part of cheapness and greed. He had control at the expense of his loved ones' self-esteem.

Bargains are grest. Splurging, borrowing out of control, and spending what we can't afford is messy and stupid. Yet, cheapness and greed in the extreme hurt as well. Sometimes, it's necessary to spend a little more to have the life we want and preserve self-respect.

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Comments: 1

  • Linda Chavey img 2012-10-27 09:33

    I have a friend that fits the above scenario to a tee! They are married but have no children. The man is controlling with money and doesn't let his wife buy anything. When she does get money, she gets revenge by blowing it. The two of them get into battles over this issue.
    My two cents is: If you are going to get married or live with someone, find out everything about that person BEFORE you commit to a relationship. Yes, you may feel in love and that you can't live without this person but if your belief systems are not compatible, it may end up being a huge hassle.

    I life a frugal lifestyle and believe that being debt-free is an extremely important part of being a low-stress lifestyle. I do not feel deprived, am relatively happy and do not deprive my children. I do not believe that new cars, designer clothing and expensive meals can make someone happy. Those spending habits are putting a band aid on a larger problem. I know many millionaires that are happy and debt-free. Funny thing is: No ones knows they are millionaires because they don't drive new sports cars.

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