Are You Suffering From Financial Obesity?

I hope you don’t mind me writing about “financial illnesses” lately. The other day, I talked about why we need to stop “comparisonitis” as well as how to prevent from experiencing it again. The purpose is to help you know whether you carry the illness. And if you do, then let’s help each other find ways to heal it.

Today, we will talk about financial obesity. I first heard this type of financial illness from author and motivational speaker Larry M. Jacobson.

According to Larry, financial obesity pertains to one’s obsessive and self-sabotaging need to constantly overspend and remain financially unhealthy. Like over-eaters, the financially obese allow fear to prevent them from achieving their personal and financial success they desire.

Whenever I see other parents, especially friends and colleagues, shower their children with every tangible thing they believe are best for them, I can’t help but think hard and reflect if what they do are really helping their kids become responsible stewards of money.

In my article on how to teach kids to save money, I mentioned that it’s also important that children be taught to enjoy their money by helping them to spend wisely on any small item. Aside from saving, we should also teach them how to bargain or choose the best price when buying something they would like to have other than the one stated in their “goal chart”.

But do we as parents teach our children about saving and wise spending? Or are we influencing them to become overspenders by the way we act irresponsibly from our financial decisions?


Learning From Observing

It is said that the greatest teacher is the one who practices what he preaches. The problem in the country’s educational system is that there are no standard subjects regarding personal finance or basic money management. Schools rarely teach children how to invest and grow their money.

And worse, there are some/most teachers who are likewise financially illiterate and do not have the capability to teach formal personal finance to students. I also see teachers flaunting gadgets and expensive clothes that make their students drool over them.

It’s simply not helping the cause to teach students to prevent financial obesity. You’re actually overfeeding them with your flash of Kardashian lifestyle.

Parents of course play a big role in molding their children’s financial character and careful attitude about money.

If you as parents can not control your overspending, you can’t expect your children to become financially fit and healthy.

You can’t expect them to respect the value of money.

Mental and Emotional Toughness, Key to Financial Success

I’ve been watching the Gilas Pilipinas basketball team beat their opponents in the current FIBA Asia Cup happening in Manila. It’s amazing how the team is composed of players who are not really superstars but are able to overcome the tough mental and emotional challenges each game.

Do you know how to become successful in your diet program? Be tough mentally and emotionally. Believe that you can avoid consuming too much carbohydrates or sugar. Believe that you can finish that fitness program in time.

It’s the same thing in beating financial obesity. Feed yourself with proper financial education and let everything you learn become a habit.

Ask yourself the following simple questions before pulling out your wallet or your credit card.

1. Do I really need to buy this product/service?

2. How long will this product or service benefit me?

3. Can I postpone my decision to buy this thing after several months until I can save up for it?

Once you are grounded with knowledge on how financial obesity can kill you and how investing can extend your life on this planet, keeping up with the Joneses and the Kardiashians will surely become history in your personal vocabulary.

As Larry would put it, knowledge appreciates, possessions depreciate.

Follow my posts about living a frugal lifestyle by subscribing to BurnGutierrez.Com.

Join the OFW UsapangPiso Facebook Group and Forum to learn how to plan your finances the right way and how to grow your money in various financial instruments and investment vehicles such as stocks, mutual funds, UITF’s, bonds, money market, real estate, and others.

P.S. 1. Bro. Bo Sanchez has appointed me as a coach for our young and new investors at the TrulyRichClub social site. It’s a fun, learning family with the purpose of “helping good people become rich”. I’m inviting you to join the TrulyRichClub too and email me at if you have any questions. Click here to join!

P.S. 2.  I’m inviting you to attend our financial coaching/Q&A session with Jess Emerson Uy, a Filipino financial consultant based in Singapore who conducts financial literacy seminars at the Philippine Embassy there, on October 9, 2013, 7PM at Starbucks Paseo de Roxas in Makati City.  This Q&A session dubbed as “Starting in Global Investing” will also be webcast LIVE over at the OFW UsapangPiso Webinar site. If you are based abroad and want to interact with Jess Uy live online, then register here. Those who are in Metro Manila may get in touch with Mr. Mon Lao at 09173262077 if you want to attend the coffeetable coaching sessions for FREE with Jess Uy at Starbucks Paseo de Roxas.