I'm addicted to saving

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I'm 28 and currently save 50% of my income. 40% goes on rent, 10% goes on bills and then other 50% goes into savings. I only have £20k in savings but I'm absolutely terrified of being old and broke that I frantically save every penny I can.

It's getting a bit ridiculous, I won't even buy myself a £40 video game for fear that it won't be worth the money and so I'm wasting £40. Every time I go to buy something I talk myself out of it by thinking "that's another £40 I could save".

Don't get me wrong I'm happy, my lifestyle is very minimalistic and I don't have any children or want any. I don't want a relationship or anything, I'm autistic so people are not really my thing. As long as I have my music and my video games, I'm happy.

The problem is no matter how much I save it's never enough. I can't stop thinking about when I'm older, when I can't work any more, what if I don't have enough to live comfortably. It scares the hell out of me.

I don't own my own house either which is another reason why I'm desperately saving. I'm looking at getting a mortgage soon. I just want to own my own home and have enough money to live comfortably as an old man.

I've been in and out of work for the last 10 years due to some mental breakdowns and I'm so scared that I'll be unfit to work in the future and I won't have enough money to survive.

I know you'll all just say that I cannot take my money to the grave with me etc but how can I stop being addicted to saving? Anyone else addicted to saving?
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Comments

  • benten69
    benten69 Posts: 366 Forumite
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    Can't say I've been in your shoes, but I guess you should start with small items first. Maybe buy yourself a new peice of clothing that you know you will wear once a month or every 2nd month. It doesn't need to be expensive, but you will know that it's not money wasted either as you will be wearing it and making use of it. Harder to do that with games, as you don't know if you will like it without playing it.

    Slowly work up to buying a new game and the likes. It's great to save, don't get me wrong, but as you have pointed out it wont be going to the grave with you.

    You need to strike a balance, where you can buy that new game or new shoes every now & then as a treat to yourself, but also save for your future.

    Maybe setup goals, where you can say "when I save up £xxx, I am going to treat myself". Make it a reasonable target. You say you have £20k, treat yourself when you get to £21k, and then every time you bank £1k savings, treat yourself, even if it's only £20, it will slowly become easier and less of a worry to spend money.

    Hope that helps.
  • darkidoe
    darkidoe Posts: 1,125 Forumite
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    I would damn well say that addiction to saving is a good thing much better than addiction to gambling, drugs or alcohol. Saving at such a young age is even better if you are able to put the money to work for you!

    I have the same fears, as I recognise that people are fragile and no one can work relentlessly forever. There are bound to be bad days, months or even years. The only responsible way is to save for that eventuality, i believe it will lessen the pain or even eliminate the pain when it happens.

    However I like some comforts as well and my way is to treat myself when I save well for a period until I have a 'yolo' moment where I would say I have reached a savings checkpoint and would be reasonable to treat myself. They are usually small affordable treats like a movie or coke or a fancy meal.

    An idea for you would be to allocate some portion of the savings to your comfort needs, maybe £5-10 per week specifically for buying games. And because it is allocated, it is part of the plan and 'allowed'. We all need to keep abit of sanity about us sometimes and some comforts like that helps.

    Save 12K in 2020 # 38 £0/£20,000
  • MarkFromCornwall
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    This might not be quite the advice you are expecting but I'll say it anyway.

    It's good that you are thinking about your long term future, but your happiness in old age may depend as much, or more, on your health as on your wealth. So try to put as much effort into developing a healthy lifestyle as you do into saving money, and if that means spending some money on a gym membership or on better food then it will be money well spent.
  • economic
    economic Posts: 3,002 Forumite
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    This might not be quite the advice you are expecting but I'll say it anyway.

    It's good that you are thinking about your long term future, but your happiness in old age may depend as much, or more, on your health as on your wealth. So try to put as much effort into developing a healthy lifestyle as you do into saving money, and if that means spending some money on a gym membership or on better food then it will be money well spent.

    This is such good advice and so true. Lot of people usually sacrifice in quality of food for saving.
  • baz8790
    baz8790 Posts: 111 Forumite
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    Are you putting your savings into high interest current accounts?

    The monthly interest on £20k could get you a new video game or a treat every month and you might not feel so bad spending it.
  • bigadaj
    bigadaj Posts: 11,531 Forumite
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    economic wrote: »
    This is such good advice and so true. Lot of people usually sacrifice in quality of food for saving.

    I'd say in many cases almost the opposite is true.

    Many people claim to save money, or not be able to afford to spend on healthy foods such as good quality meat and fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, and just spend a lot more on ready meals, takeaways, fast food etc etc

    That seems to be one of the big false beliefs of modern times.
  • Pincher
    Pincher Posts: 6,552 Forumite
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    You spend money to learn how to spend money.

    I get very good value fruit and veg from street stalls.

    There is a van from Grimsby at a market on Saturdays.
    I had a huge crab yesterday for £1. It's raw, so must cook and eat on the day. I have an Igloo box, so I don't break the cold chain.

    And then there's Costco.
  • WantToBeSE
    WantToBeSE Posts: 7,729 Forumite
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    As you are probably aware, people with Autism can have fixations and obsessions, and it sounds very much like this has become one of yours.

    If it doesn't effect your life at all, or stop you from doing things you want to do, i'd say it's not a problem. But if there are things that you'd like to be doing, that is stopped by this need to save, i suggest you get some help from an ASD professional.

    Good luck :)
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,344 Forumite
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    Planning for the future is extremely sensible, but what you need to do is look at your fears and make a sensible and balanced plan, not a panic response. You need to balance living comfortably and happily now with living comfortably and happily in the future.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • jimjames
    jimjames Posts: 17,668 Forumite
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    If you're saving to buy a house then that's not an obsession it's a sensible goal. A few others might do well to be as disciplined as you when so many say they cannot afford to buy yet still spend out on un-needed items.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
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