Financial OCD

Financial OCD or simply keeping things in order?

You know what really grinds my gears? It’s when people start accusing me of having OCD, while I think it’s just tidiness and punctuality. 

And it doesn’t have to be something related to financial matters. Lately, people have been accusing me of having OCD over the silliest things.

The silliness goes along these lines

“Hey, how come your car is so clean and tidy?”

“’Cause I clean it regularly. And keep it tidy.”

“Whoa, it’s like you have OCD or something!”

And in financial matters it’s even worse

“Darn, my bank charged me interest again because I was late with my Visa payment. Don’t you hate it when that happens to you?”

“No, I pay all my bills on time.”

“Dude, you must be suffering from OCD!”

For some reason, it’s always younger people who accuse me of having OCD, while all I am really doing is keeping things in order. 

Now, I’m not saying I’m old or anything, but lately I’ve been associating myself with Red Forman of That’s 70’s show. Because while I do get along with people in their 20’s without major problems (even people who have weird loopy things in their ears and say things like. “Oh, whatever man, that’s lame”), some of the stuff they say really raises my eyebrows. I’m not quite at the “Get offa my lawn, you dang kids” stage, but I do have some rather strong opinions about some of them. 

Here comes one

Young people! Let me explain something to you. Sometimes what you refer to as being OCD isn’t OCD at all. Sometimes it’s just common sense and good old fashioned punctuality. Having things in order and doing things on time aren’t signs of OCD, they’re signs of maturity. And you don’t have to be old to become mature and punctual with your life – heck, I know some 20 year olds who have what you call OCD. 

Sometimes people blame their money problems on having bad luck. Like, this unexpected bill just shows up out of nowhere, and because of bad luck it happens exactly when you have $1.70 in your bank account. 

Let’s be honest, it has very little with luck and a lot to do with people not paying attention to their finances and keeping track of their bills and accounts. Once again, you don’t have to have OCD to pay attention to numbers and accounts. You just have to be a bit more adult.

But I’m not going to sit here and bash young people for not being mature. As a once younger person myself, I’ve been on receiving end of countless “walking eight miles to school in snow” stories. So, being a helpful individual, I came up with examples of what does and what doesn’t constitute OCD. This way, next time you’re about to accuse somebody of having OCD, you can consult this simple chart and act accordingly (try to learn a thing or two, that is).

Not really OCD

Paying your bills before they’re due, and not half an hour before midnight on the day they’re due.

Coming to work in clean clothes and without pants around your ankles.

Completing tasks given to you at work on time.

Keeping your workspace/home/vehicles clean of empty bottles, Wendy’s wrappers, and half eaten Gummy Bears.

Keeping track of all your expenses through the month and knowing where every single dollar is going (there’s an app for it, you know).

Knowing the approximate balance of your bank account and making sure you never go near the zero mark. Once again, you can do it on your phone between checking Facebook and lurking on Tinder.

Borderline OCD behaviour

Making sure all your teeth are same length and occasionally using a file on them to keep them that way.

Only eating a specific number of cheerios per spoon.

Portioning the amount of gas you buy so that the gas purchase comes to an even number.

Rearranging goods on shelves at grocery store while shopping to make them look orderly (dang, I actually do that).

Washing your neighbours’ cars cause you can’t stand how dirty they are.

Perhaps we could all use a bit of OCD in our lives if it means paying more attention to our finances. Perhaps then we’d stop paying obscene amount of money the banks charge us in overdraft fees. Hopefully, we’d pay less in interest charges as well. Maybe then we’d have less month at the end of money, and financial bad luck issues would become less and less prominent.

/End rant

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About the Author

As somebody who grew up in a poor family, I lacked common knowledge about money from day one. If you can think of one dumb thing to do with your money - I did it. No paid college education for me. No inheritance, no financial help from my parents.

I may be a financial underdog, but through building good personal finance habits and educating myself about how money works, I hope one day to achieve financial independence for myself and my family.

Yes, I do believe an average person can enjoy a wealthy lifestyle as a result of smart decisions. Given enough time and proper education, anybody can change their financial future for the better. This can happen even if you start very late into the game - but your financial habits have to change.

If you'd like to know more about my struggles and wins with money, feel free to visit my website http://www.MoneyRamblings.com where I ramble about everyday money issues.

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