We have all heard about the miser who hides their money in their mattress and lives as if they are in the throes of poverty when they are really quite wealthy. But do such people really exist? The truth is that they do certainly exist, and in fact, this behavior is often the result of mental illness.
Unfounded money paranoia and hoarding is a sign of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Often people affected by this disorder will hoard all types of things; rarely getting rid of anything. They may have several old automobiles that they do not use and have no intention of using, but keep them around because they are "Classics" This is true even if the cost of storing them is more than what they could reasonable expect to ever sale them for.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. These people are actually afraid to get rid of anything for it is in their head that someday they might need an item and will have to buy it if they have thrown it away. It is not uncommon for these people to be obsessive about keeping track of every penny spent, and become upset if they are responsible for one cent of interest on anything else which normal people deal with on an everyday basis but that this person considers, unnecessary.
Though it is wise for anyone to be pennywise and thrifty, especially in today's world when fortunes can be gained and lost quickly if you are not careful, these people who are afflicted with money paranoia will actually make themselves sick worrying about where every penny is spent. The average person looking at one of these individuals would swear that they think they are going to take everything with them when they die.
So what are the signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Money Paranoia? You are someone you know may be afflicted with this illness if:
- They keep just about everything they acquire, even if they haven't used it for twenty years.
- They have an obsession about going online to check their bank statements daily.
- They are so worried about losing out on a dime that they will actually cheat close friends and relatives on financial deals.
- It is minus 10 degrees outside and they insist on keeping the heat so low you can practically see your breath and it is much too cold to even bathe. They won't allow the fireplace to be used because that will cost money in extra natural gas, or firewood.
- They expect other members of the family to turn off the shower water while they are lathering up with soap and not to turn it on again until they are ready to rinse off.
- They have a parent that displayed similar behavior as they were growing up. This person will recognize this behavior in their parent, but not themselves.
The difference between a person who is afflicted with mental illness and one who is just thrifty is the obsessive behavior and the fact that this behavior causes trouble and misery for themselves and those around them.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.