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Tiny Wisdom: The Fear of Spending Too Much Money

“The use of money is all the advantage there is in having it.” –Benjamin Franklin

I just came back from the dentist where I learned I need $1,400 worth of dental work, and it’s largely because I failed to make a $100 investment last year.

My former dentist had informed me my teeth were worn down from me grinding them in my sleep. She’d suggested I purchase a customized mouth guard, which would run from $100–500, depending on the quality.

I decided to spend $30 at CVS instead, because I enjoy spending as little as possible and, as a result, I often finds ways to cut corners. It’s not because I don’t have money; it’s just because I prefer saving it.

Ultimately, wearing this ill-fitting mouth guard turned out to be an expensive decision, because it kept my mouth slightly open, which dried it out each night—and saliva is something that prevents tooth decay and protects us from cavities, of which I now have eight.

Have you ever decided to go with the lowest cost contractor—maybe for work on your house or your website—only to find you got what you paid for?

Have you ever opted to go without health insurance because you assumed you wouldn’t need it, only to find that health is fragile?

Have you ever bought the cheapest possible furniture, only to realize spending just a little more would have made a big difference in your enjoyment of your space?

Or how about this: Have you ever talked yourself out of a dream because it would require a financial risk?

These are all things I have done—sometimes to save a little, and other times to save a lot.

It seems contrary to conventional wisdom to suggest that not spending can be an emotional decision, but it can be exactly that—a choice to skimp on something necessary or useful in fear there won’t be enough down the road.

This scarcity mindset can prevent us from rationally weighing the options when a moderate expense now can prevent a major one later—or even make us money in the long run.

If you’re someone who spends freely without fear, this lesson may not resonate with you, but for those who can relate: less is not always more.

Sometimes we need to invest in ourselves or our future. As long as we’re not spending recklessly, we can trust this truly is the wisest choice.

Photo by sherrattsam

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, Tiny Buddha's Worry Journal, and Tiny Buddha's Inner Strength Journal and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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