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