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Disappearing Money Syndrome: Seven Tips to Stop Being Nice

This week I discovered what a nice person I am. I am nice to the exclusion of financially aware. What did I spend that $7.90 on? I was scratching my head looking through daily expenses, when I remembered my affliction: Nice Person with Disappearing Money Syndrome. 

I bought my colleague a coffee and didn’t ask to be repaid. But it’s only $7.90, right? Until the end of the month when you realize you spent $500 on dining out, and “it’s my treat!” accounted for $200 of that. 

If you’re a pleaser like me, you have to watch yourself. This month, my wanting to be generous cost me $125. Meanwhile, my family is in the money crunch along with everyone else in the country right now. So I made a pact with myself to notice when I’m doing something to please, and to snap my generosity back into alignment with A) my budget, and B) how I want to be living my life. 

I assembled seven tips for pleasers who want to practice nipping the nice. There are other, more financially solvent ways to be generous besides springing for coffee for everyone in the office. Just ask yourself what it’s costing. Then nip it. 

  • Know when your need to please is dictating something not in your budget.
  • No one has a line item that says take care of everyone around you. 
  • Ask to be repaid if you go to get coffee or go to lunch with someone. Make it a new habit. It makes a fundamental difference on how you provide for yourself. 
  • Set clear boundaries about what you’re spending money on. Resist temptation to spend outside them. 
  • Give yourself permission to NOT treat.
  • Go through a whole month of not treating others, and see how it affects your bottom line.
  • Notice how many times you actually were doing it, or how many times someone was treating you. 
  • For one month take responsibility to pay for yourself.
  • Take note of how much you have, and how often you are spending on others. 
  • Account for it. It may be fine to be a super-pleaser It may feel great and be worth your spending. But readjust your monthly budget to account for it. Most people don’t factor for their spontaneous generosity. 
  • Take time to be generous.
  • Springing for the check is often a short cut to generosity. But if it is not aligned with your goal to save money, and you still want to be nice … bake cookies. It’s cheaper, and the time invested is more difficult to part with than the cash, illustrating what your generosity is really worth.

Originally published on GreenSherpa