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Are you afraid to spend?

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Oct 29th, 2013 @ 9:25am

SALT LAKE CITY — We've all been told the importance of saving money but some people may be saving too much.

Writers at MSN Money recently asked their readers, "Are you afraid to spend money?" Financial counselors say, for the most part, this is not a problem for most people. But there are some exceptions.

"Those that go extreme to the other side of it won't even pay for things that truly are needed," said Kristin Johnson of Cornerstone Financial Education.

Johnson said there is nothing wrong with being frugal. But, there are people who might be afraid to use the money for things like food or medical and dental checkups.

"If security or health or other things, for that matter, are at risk then you need to do it," Johnson said.

So, what's the rule? When should people shell out the money if they have it? Sadly, there is no hard and fast rule about it. But, she reminds people that they saved money for a reason, and these expenses may be it.

"There are always those exceptions to it that are extreme the other way that need to realize that if they were smart and if they saved, they have the right to use that money to improve and better their quality of life," she said.

If they saved, they have the right to use that money to improve and better their quality of life.

–Kristin Johnson

The problem most people have is they don't know where their cash is going as well as they think they do.

Johnson said many people don't categorize where they put their money. Many of her customers are spending 20 to 25 percent more than they think they do.

However, if people are wise in tracking what they spend their money on, Johnson said they shouldn't be afraid to use it if they have to.

"It's not necessarily, in my opinion, just fear about it. It's the ‘a-ha' moment of what you're truly spending on [those things]," she said.

She said older people are far more likely to hoard funds than younger people.

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