Suffering from... frugal fatigue syndrome?

Put too much emphasis on scrimping and you could wind up with a whopping credit card bill. Frugality, it seems, demands caution...

by Helen Kirwan-Taylor -
Last Updated: 25 Oct 2010

Have you been saving coupons, eating leftovers and buying from charity shops? Is the thought of spending another vacation at home making you want to take out the credit card and splurge anyway?

Frugal Fatigue Syndrome is a new disorder, born out of the past years of economic downturn. Initially, one feels self-satisfied and responsible, but, like all things, the feeling wears off quickly.

Though frugality starts out of necessity and hardship, it rapidly gets boring, so boring that overspending becomes a knee-jerk reaction. In fact, too much frugality often results in excessive indulgence and credit-card activity, which is why this disorder is not to be taken lightly.

Look at anyone with a huge overdraft and chances are they started by trying not to spend. Frugal fatigue is just like dieting. The more you try and lose weight, the fatter you get. Tell someone they'll never eat chocolate again and they're guaranteed to eat a whole boxful. (And as we're already overeating, why not have some ice cream and a few bags of crisps, too?)

But tell them they can have two chocolates a day and they're happy as Larry. Frugality is one of those things that should be practised with caution and moderation.

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