Debtors Anonymous – Confessions of a Shopaholic

I was listening in on my hubby’s podcast and I regret not asking what it was at the time since he doesn’t remember now either, but the content of the podcast was about debtor’s anonymous.  I don’t know how popular this is or how well known this is, but this was the first time I was hearing about it.  Basically they follow the same steps as alcoholic’s anonymous and they assign a sponsor for each person to report every single expense to on a daily basis.  So they have someone to support them one on one and instead of reporting back once a week or once every other week, they have a daily routine of exercising self control.

This got me thinking about the book Confessions of a Shopaholic and how the main character, Rebecca, would’ve been a perfect candidate for debtors anonymous. I never liked Becky due to her lack of self control, total ignorance on the concept of personal finance, and immaturity that prevents her from recognizing her problem to deal with it at all.  But now that I’m on this journey to financial freedom, I had to really look at my tendencies and attitude towards my finances.  After being honest with myself, I sort of see traits of Becky in me.  I mean, not to that extent, but I see a minimal version of that in myself.

I guess almost everyone has some version of Becky that peaks out here and there.  Following is the list of similarities I found myself in Becky’s shopaholic traits.

1. I never went crazy for designer items, but I had my weakness in my skincare products until recently when I crumbled under pressure (see my Should You Skimp on Skincare? post).  I also had a thing about eating out and when it came to eating out, there was no limit on how much I spend.

2. I paid all my bills on time, but I did fail to see the problem of my wedding debt and school loans that I was only paying minimum payments for years.

3. I didn’t run away and lie to my creditors like Becky did, but I did hide and lie to myself about the financial state that I was in.

4. I didn’t find a rich man like Becky did, but I found my hubby~^^

Of course, Becky is an extreme and animated character for a chick lit.  But there is some truth to her unrealistic problem solving skill (or no skill) and self denial that are widely spread in the real world these days.  A lot of times, it takes a big hit in the head to realize the problem at hand to start tackling it.  I wish I was wise enough to not create a problem from the beginning or realized it earlier, but like I always say, what’s done is done.  Let’s move on and be constructive and positive.

Did you guys know about debtors anonymous?  Do you find similarities with Becky from Confessions of a Shopaholic?


6 thoughts on “Debtors Anonymous – Confessions of a Shopaholic

  1. I read that book a while ago hoping that the main character would come to some big realization and catharsis about her debt (i.e. realize she had a problem and actually paid the debt off). But no, she marries a rich dude.

    Way to be inspiring to young girls! Ok, I know that’s not the point, its chick lit after all, but I don’t know why it couldn’t have had a more inspiring message. Like the one Gail Vaz-Oxlade gives princesses on her show Princess. Becky needed to meet Gail 😉

    • I totally agree with you. I didn’t like the ending. After all that she went through, she went right back to her old habits. (It’s been awhile since I read the book, but I think that was the ending.) There’s no redeeming quality to her. But oh well~ That’s why I thought of her when I heard about debtor’s anonymous.

  2. Number 2 on your list about paying all bills on time but only making minimum payments towards student loans really resignated with me. I wish I was much more serious about paying off debt when I graduated university instead of procrastinating for 5 years but better late than never I guess. As for the character Becky, I liked her, but I’m a recovering shopaholic so that could explain it 😛

  3. I didn’t read the book but watched the movie (Isla Fischer is adorable), and I agree I found similarities but to a lesser degree. At least the awareness is there now, though, and we’re doing something about it!

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