What is the fear of being broke called?

Several people across multiple social media platforms have openly admitted to having an irrational fear of being broke or having no money. Yet, interestingly, phobias regarding this subject appear to remain very underrepresented.

As of the time of writing, there are about three phobias associated with having or spending money. Strangely, the phobias associated with being broke or poverty are mostly suffered by rich people.

a. Peniaphobia

Peniaphobia is the fear of being broke. It is coined from the Greek word “penia,” meaning poverty or need, and “phobos,” meaning fear.

Peniaphobia is described as the abnormal and persistent fear of becoming poor or lacking the financial resources necessary to meet one’s basic needs or maintain a certain lifestyle. People with this condition live their lives constantly afraid of ending up poor even if they are very wealthy. This uncontrollable anxiety drives peniaphobia sufferers to try to do everything they can to not end up broke, including very compulsive and sometimes criminal activities.

A sudden confrontation with a situation that could lead to poverty such as losing a high-paying job or news of a failed investment could trigger serious physical symptoms in people with this condition such as dizziness, trembling, pounding heart, chest pain, stomach distress or nausea, etc.

b. Chrometophobia

Chrometophobia is the irrational fear of spending money. According to psychologists, common symptoms of this phobia include intense feelings of hopelessness, anxiety and depression at the thought of spending money or the realization of having spent too much money. People suffering from this condition may have the tendency to avoid spending money as much as possible and may struggle to pay bills or debts, putting it off as much as possible, even though they have the money.

Clinical psychologist Dr Aimee Daramus explains that chrometophobia is an irrational fear and sufferers of this condition should not be confused with people with genuine financial problems who are struggling to pay bills.

According to Dr Daramus, sufferers of chrometophobia are extremely afraid of spending money even though they have enough and this fear may sometimes extend to other valuables, such as jewellery, gold, diamonds, or cars. It is also safe to note that people who have dealt with severe financial difficulties in the past may develop chrometophobia.

Also, chrometophobia, like most other phobias may have a genetic root. Research has found that people are prone to developing certain kinds of phobias if other members of their family have the same condition.

c. Aporophobia

Aporophobia is the fear or rejection of poor people or things associated with poor life. According to experts, aporophobia often describes hatred, fear, disgust or hostility toward the poor and helpless and may be more of a personal prejudice than a recognized phobia. In other words, aporophobia is not an actual phobia but more of a social bias that manifests in the form of a strong antipathy, aversion or hatred of poverty or poor people.

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