Are you suffering from frugal or debt fatigue?

Anyone who has ever paid down a significant amount of debt, or having to deal with a massive change in spending because of a job loss or something similar would know exactly what I’m talking about.

People who suffer from debt or frugal fatigue are:

  • Tired of saving money
  • Tired of seeing your money disappear down a black debt hole!!!
  • Tired of seeing how slow everything is improving
  • Ready to give up, and go on vacation and spend all their savings
  • Ready to go on a shopping binge on a line of credit or credit card

When I was in debt, I was really sick of seeing all of this money disappear.

Yes, I know I was stupid for not having been more frugal during my college years to have taken on a roommate or two, or to scrimp on my spending, so really I’m just paying for past transgressions. I am responsible for the debt, but I was kicking myself in the proverbial butt for not having watched my money sooner and started budgeting or tracking expenses.

Granted, I still had enough money and a little bit extra to cover my basic living expenses and some light spending, but it still doesn’t take the sting out of having to see $2500+ disappear from net income each month that doesn’t go to retirement or savings, but to this big black hell of a debt hole.

I was however, well aware that I was definitely luckier than most, to be able to put $2500+ towards debt each month.

Market Watch did a piece saying that Americans are starting to get frugal fatigue: Read article here, and thanks to Tim of Zia Rider Blog for the emailed link!.

According to an NFCC poll, 66% of respondents are tired of watching every penny, but say they have no other option.

Only 5% of the respondents have decided to begin spending more, while another 8% of the respondents said they have not made changes to their spending habits in recent years.

Then there is the remaining 21%, who acknowledge lifestyle and spending changes and say those moves are both positive and permanent.


“America has always been a country of great spenders and lousy savers, and that has only just recently started to change at all,” she added. “The question people are facing now — when things look like they might be getting just a little bit better — is whether they are going back to the same old thing.”

For me, I could never go back to what I was like pre-debt-repayment: spending freely, shopping like a maniac, not caring about savings or my bottom line.

I simply can’t. I’ve learned too much and it is a second nature to me right now.

However, even right now, I don’t think that I am very frugal because I could save more than what I am saving right now.

I could most certainly:

  • forego my estimated $10,000 trip to Asia this year
  • stop buying so many damn treats (macarons, cadbury eggs, banh mi sandwiches)
  • never buy another article of clothing or another necklace ever again

..but money is meant to be spent, not hoarded.

I save more than enough and I want to enjoy what I’ve earned, especially since it isn’t compromising my goals.

So what do you think? Are you experiencing fiscal fatigue right now?

Will those 66% people go back to the way they spent before, because of frugal/debt fatigue?

Or will they become part of the 21% who want to stay “changed” for the better?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.