By Cameron Huddleston
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dr. Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist and associate professor at Creighton University says “If your goal is to deprive yourself of any pleasure, it’s going to backfire.”
You’ve likely heard countless times that you need to stop throwing away money on things like a daily latte.
In fact, best-selling personal finance author David Bach popularized the concept “The Latte Factor” and created a calculator to help people see how much little expenses add up and how that money could be saved.
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up all of life‘s little luxuries if you want to get ahead financially. Actually, trying to eliminate all of the small things you enjoy might do more harm than good to your finances.
“If your goal is to deprive yourself of any pleasure, it’s going to backfire,” said Dr. Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist and associate professor at Creighton University.
So if you’re like many Americans who are vowing to save more and spend less in the new year, you can reach your goal with savings strategies that don’t involve cutting out everything you love. Here’s why you shouldn’t give up little luxuries, and what you should do instead.
YOU’LL THINK YOU’RE ON A DIET
“If you are going to approach your finances with the objective of cutting out things you enjoy, it’s like a diet,” said Klontz. And research has shown that dieting fails to help people keep weight off over the long run. In fact, a UCLA study found that most people who diet gain back the weight they lose, plus some.
“The reason diets fail is because you tell your body that you’re about to starve it,” said Klontz. “Then your body kicks into planning-for-the-famine mode by slowing down your metabolism and telling you to eat.”