Guilty of Spending Too Much? You May Have Money Dysmorphia

February 8, 2024 Mahevash Shaikh

Money dysmorphia involves spending too much. When was the last time you went on a shopping spree? I'm not judging you; everybody needs a little retail therapy every now and then. But if you find yourself indulging in shopping too much, you may have money dysmorphia.

What Is Money Dysmorphia? 

According to a recent study by Credit Karma, money dysmorphia is explained as follows.

"Money dysmorphia is defined as having a distorted view of one's finances that could lead them to make poor decisions. This problem was much more pronounced among younger generations with 43% of Gen Z and 41% of Millennials saying they experience money dysmorphia, compared to 25% of Gen X and just 14% of respondents aged 59 or above."1

Money dysmorphia is why young people are overspending and going into debt. And like many notable problems young people face today, social media is to blame. 

Money Dysmorphia, Spending Too Much, and Social Media

In simpler times, we only compared ourselves with people in our social circles. Today, we have Instagram, which lets us compare ourselves with regular people, celebrities, and influencers based anywhere in the world. We often compare ourselves to others, and Instagram exacerbates this problem because many people use it to flaunt their lavish lifestyles. Plus, according to the Credit Karma study, Generation Z and Millennials are obsessed with being rich. 

The above factors are some of the reasons why I think spending too much and money dysmorphia is on the rise among youth active on social media like Instagram and TikTok. And can you blame us? Constantly seeing people vacationing in exotic locations, watching expensive makeup hauls, going on virtual tours of dream houses, etc., is bound to make anyone jealous. I think it is only natural for us to take the bait and overspend so that we also have something "noteworthy" to post. 

With Money Dysmorphia, Be Careful About Who You Follow

Just because overspending is natural does not mean you cannot overcome it. One thing you can do is be very picky about who you follow online. Do yourself a favor and stop following anybody promoting glamor and luxury as must-haves for a good life. Achieving financial stability is a far more realistic and wholesome goal. Besides, I think if you want to improve your quality of life, you should focus on your personal and spiritual growth instead of trying to keep up with others. As Sigmund Freud said,

"The only person with whom you have to compare yourself is you in the past."2

Still, you may find it difficult to stop spending too much and curb money dysmorphia. After all, we are constantly bombarded with sales and advertisements everywhere we go, especially in the online world. And since many of us have switched to cashless transactions from paper money, we are unaware of how much money we spend until it is too late. If you need help with budgeting or want someone to hold you accountable, don't hesitate to reach out to a friend


  1. Credit Karma. (2024, January 16). Gen Z and millennials are obsessed with the idea of being rich, and it could be leading to money dysmorphia. - Intuit Credit Karma. Intuit Credit Karma.
  2. A quote by Sigmund Freud. (n.d.).

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2024, February 8). Guilty of Spending Too Much? You May Have Money Dysmorphia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

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