Financial Gluttony

Gluttony is all around us.  I’m as guilty of it as you likely are.  The most classical example of gluttony is the act of eating much more than you need.  It leads to obesity, which is a rampant problem in this country.  Gluttony is described as the excessive indulgence in food and drink.

But, since this is a personal finance blog, let’s expand that description a bit and talk about financial gluttony. In fact, lets get down right philosophical about it.

The excessive indulgence of money. It may not be an official one of the 7 deadly sins, but it certainly is one of the deadly sins of personal finance.  It’s the rampant consumerism that often runs wild in our society.  Especially around this time of year.  We spend and spend and only stop when our credit runs out.  We give little thought to what the resulting consequences will be of our spending.  Over spending, over extending, gluttonous use of money.

The excessive indulgences of finance.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that many of you have probably not thought of this side of the argument.  What I’m talking about is the gluttonous use of financial maxims to save and perform frugal acts.  Moderation is good for all things, even the stuff that is good for us.  You’ll garner no argument from me that saving money and being frugal are good things.  But, it is possible to take it too far.  Making soup by boiling your old belts, not because you can’t afford food, but because it’ll save a buck or two is finance gluttony.  Ok, that’s a pretty extreme example, but you get the point.

What I really want to get at here is that there are extremes for everything.  If we eat too much we get fat.  If we spend too much we get broke.  If we save too much, we fail to appreciate what our money can do for us.  So, the next time you’re doing your budget or even just balancing your checkbook, take the time to think about that.  Are you being financially gluttonous?