Financial Bulimia

Do you suffer from Financial Bulimia? I think it’s an interesting definition for a way some people spend money. I’d never heard it before, but I came across it at So Now What?:

Financial Bulimia. I have a tendency to get ultra frugal, and then snap and do something like book a last minute weekend getaway–to the tune of $3,000! I would like to get on a more even, moderate keel.

I think that the term fits quite accurately to a lot of people trying to get their finances in order. It also rings true since dieting and personal finances / debt reduction have a lot of similarities. Just like with dieting, there is no quick fix with debt reduction. It takes time and ultimately a change in habit over time. If you try to cut spending down too drastically too fast without the time to think through the cost cutting you’re doing and whether it is healthy (there is a difference between eating the cheapest foods that are unhealthy and a low cost diet that is nutritious), many times it will result in a spending spree that ruins all the hard work you’ve done.

This is why it is so important to work on the budget and debt reduction using as many painless saving ideas as possible to begin the debt reduction process. It also is quite important to do it slowly but surely over a period of time when possible as this will likely result in a long term change of personal finance habits for the betterment of your bottom line.

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3 Responses to Financial Bulimia

  1. Brian says:

    Agreed Jeff, like a health diet, it’s a lifestyle change. People have to be in it for the long haul, use discipline and believe your life will be better if you reduce your debt load.

  2. samerwriter says:

    We generally don’t “binge spend”, but I do find that over time our spending slowly increases.

    Every year or so we spend perhaps a month going through some conscious belt-tightening. In my experience, one can only be ultra-careful about spending for a limited period (especially if one’s spouse isn’t entirely bought into the idea!). That helps establish some good habits.

    Then in about a year we start the cycle over. I think the ‘dieting’ analogy still applies, but rather than financial bulimia we just slowly start growing a financial spare tire…

  3. Pingback: Frugal For Life » Blog Archive » Financial Bulimia and the Mind

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