12 Signs Of A Debt Addict

Do you have a problem with compulsive spending? Debtor’s Anonymous, yes, there is such a group, has 12 warning signs to watch out for.

12. Being unclear about your financial situation. Not knowing account balances, monthly expenses, loan interest rates, fees, fines, or contractual obligations.

11. Frequently “borrowing” items such as books, pens, or small amounts of money from friends and others, and failing to return them.

10. Poor saving habits. Not planning for taxes, retirement or other not-recurring but predictable items, and then feeling surprised when they come due; a “live for today, don’t worry about tomorrow” attitude.”

9. Compulsive shopping: Being unable to pass up a “good deal”; making impulsive purchases; leaving price tags on clothes so they can be returned; not using items you’ve purchased.

8. Difficulty in meeting basic financial or personal obligations, and/or an inordinate sense of accomplishment when such obligations are met.

7. A different feeling when buying things on credit than when paying cash, a feeling of being in the club, of being accepted, of being grown up.

6. Living in chaos and drama around money: Using one credit card to pay another; bouncing checks; always having a financial crisis to contend with.

5. A tendency to live on the edge: Living paycheck to paycheck; taking risks with health and car insurance coverage; writing checks hoping money will appear to cover them.

4. Unwarranted inhibition and embarrassment in what should be a normal discussion of money.

3. Overworking or underearning: Working extra hours to earn money to pay creditors; using time inefficiently; taking jobs below your skill and education level.

2. An unwillingness to care for and value yourself: Living in self-imposed deprivation; denying your basic needs in order to pay your creditors.

1. A feeling or hope that someone will take care of you if necessary, so that you won’t really get into serious financial trouble, that there will always be someone you can turn to.

If more than seven of these apply to you, you may need to admit yourself to a debt clinic!

Signs of Compulsive Debting [Debtor’s Anonymous]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Crazytree says:

    13. You lease a C-Class and live in an apartment with your LV bag and mini-dog.

  2. randombob says:

    So often I see people who are are, as CRAZYTREE eluded, driving a $50,000 dollar truck with a $7,000 lift-kit, and living in the apartment complex.

    I mean, I like nice cars, too. But if you’re living in an apartment complex yet driving anything that cost over $15K, you’re kinda missing the point. Get the civic, save some cash, maybe get a place of your own sooner rather than later.

    Bad money management is a thing of Generation Y, of which I’m sad to say I’m a part. I don’t know why, I think it has to do with Gen X-ers & baby boomers having made it “relatively” easy; my generation tends to think that it will just happen for us like it did for them.

    These peeps are in for a rude awakening. Eventually. When the golden parachute drops.

  3. Abusiveelusive says:

    I came in here fearing I was going to be described by these 12 signs. Thankfully only one or two kinda matched how I am.

  4. MercuryPDX says:

    3. Overworking or underearning: Working extra hours to earn money to pay creditors; using time inefficiently; taking jobs below your skill and education level.

    I was considering taking a 2nd job, part time working nights at the local movie theater purely to “steroid-inject” my new emergency savings account to where it’s supposed to be (minimum 3 months salary).

    Shouldn’t a 2nd part time job for this purpose be below your skill and education level?

  5. hoot550 says:

    Not to excuse reckless behavior with money, but consider the debt dealers role in this…

    “Life takes Visa”
    “Live Richly”
    “…For everything else there’s Mastercard.”
    “No Payments until 2012!!!”

    Then think of the commercials where the person who pays with cash is a freak. And we all know that paying with a check should a capital offense.

  6. AtomikB says:

    @MercuryPDX: I agree. If you actually have skills and education, you probably can’t find an evening/weekend job that will use them. If you have a job that already uses your skills and education, odds are that you work in the daytime.

  7. Hawk07 says:


    Dude, it’s all about your wheels and how many strangers you can impress when you hit the open road.

  8. mac-phisto says:

    @MercuryPDX: i think the point is that if you’re taking a 2nd job, you might be overworking or underpaid. of course if you even have an emergency savings, they’re probably not talking about you.

    how about treating you available credit like your own money. such as, “i have a $1500 balance & i’ve used $1000. i have $500 left for me to spend.”

    i used to be like that…

  9. Peekaso says:

    Ghetto Rich, Yea!

    Put some D’s on that ride.

  10. Maulleigh says:

    I’m a big tightwad but I can definitely relate to a few of those. Freaky!

  11. MercuryPDX says:

    @AtomikB: Yes, there’s nothing like being turned down for a nightshift job at the local 7-11 because you’re overqualified.

  12. itmustbeken says:

    You list all these things like there a bad thing…

  13. Bulldog9908 says:

    7-10 years ago, this list described me to a tee. I was a debt addict. I had almost twice my annual income in credit card debt, no money saved, a car I couldn’t afford, and felt good just when I could make my rent.

    It is possible to dig out. Now I pay my credit cards off each month, have significant reserves for retirement and savings, and none of these things describe me.

    Those who are described by this list, take heart. Hard work to pay off your debts can dig you out. I’m a lot happier being free from debt than I ever was buying tons of useless junk on credit.

    BTW, if you think credit card companies are bad at giving you more credit than you can afford when you can’t make payments, wait until you have made payments for a few years. Soon, you will find you can buy luxury cars on a credit card. It’s a damn good thing I’ve got some discipline now.

  14. tcp100 says:

    @Crazytree: Hey, I wouldn’t say living in an apartment means you’re a debt addict, even if you have a C-Class. Some of us just want to be mobile, and there’s a value to renting in that you can pick up and leave.

    What you’re getting at, I think (and I agree), is the “leased lifestyle” so many folks live. This is especially true here in the DC area, where status is so important.. You’ll see 21 year old guys in suits driving their 7-series.. If I saw that one time, maybe I’d say “Wow, he must be some kind of investment banking whiz-kid!”, but I’ve seen it so often that it’s pretty obvious they’re just leasing their status.

    Anecdotally, I’ve seen this myself when co-workers in positions that you know have an average salary end up buying million dollar homes (which actually doesn’t get you much out here) and $70,000 cars..

  15. Lyn Never says:

    These can also be indicators of depression. When I was in really bad shape, I would spend in pretty much the same patterns that one abuses drugs. And it’s a vicious cycle – you’re depressed, you run up more debt, which makes you more depressed… At one point I was taking my mail straight from the mailbox to the trash can, I was so terrified of the contents. It’s tough, and it’s very hard to clean up your money problems when you can barely handle the stress of breathing or going outside, and it’s really hard to get on top of your depression with the collection notices coming every day.

  16. DjDynasty says:

    And the depression get’s worse when the repo man shows up to take the car that you can’t afford to make the past 4 months of payments on.

  17. mattbrown says:

    You forgot:
    13) Use convenience checks to pay off credit card that the convenience check is from.

    lmaoz :'(

  18. no.no.notorious says:

    1. A feeling or hope that someone will take care of you if necessary

    you know you’re a flaming hippy liberal when…

  19. What’s with #11? (Serious question, hoping someone can explain how it’s related.)

  20. mac-phisto says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: i think it’s the idea of taking ownership of someone else’s belongings, much in the same way that a person in debt falsely believes that s/he owns the stuff that surrounds him/her when in reality it’s all financed.