Financial anorexia is a term used to describe a condition where an individual has an unhealthy obsession with saving money and is reducing expenses to the point of negative impact on their physical and mental health. 

This is similar in nature to the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which involves an unhealthy fixation on food and a distorted body image. Someone suffering from anorexia may believe they still need to lose a few extra pounds, despite it being clear to those around them that they do not. Similarly, someone suffering from financial anorexia believes they still need more money, despite being in a comfortable financial situation (based on their income and spending), and they still choose to deprive themselves.

This extreme fear of debt or financial insecurity leads one to constantly monitor spending, cut back on essential expenses, and avoid social activities that involve money. This can result in social isolation, depression, and physical health problems caused by inadequate nutrition or neglect of basic needs.

cash money in handThe signs of financial anorexia can vary from person to person, but here are some common indicators:

  • Excessive worry about money and financial security: constant worry, even if there is enough money to cover basic needs, fear of debt or spending.
  • Extreme frugality: cutting essential expenses such as food, clothing, and healthcare. Avoiding social activities that involve money, even if it means missing out on important connections.
  • Obsessive monitoring of finances: checking bank accounts and budgets multiple times a day, constantly tracking every penny spent.
  • Neglect of basic needs: such as adequate nutrition, healthcare, or home maintenance, in order to save money.

It is important to maintain a healthy balance between financial security and personal well-being. If you or someone you know is exhibiting these signs, it may be helpful to seek professional help from a therapist or financial advisor.


Disclaimer: All blog posts are intended for educational purposes and cannot replace direct consultation with a licensed provider. Please feel free to check our provider page for more information on our team of talented clinicians who can help you identify and challenge your negative thought patterns.