Believe it or not, I wasn’t always the Budgeting OCD Discount Diva I am today. I’ve always considered myself to be frugal, BUT I spent most of my adult life without a budget or financial goals, and with plenty of credit card debt. I lived perpetually in survival mode from paycheck to two days before paycheck, with credit cards bridging the gap.

I have since learned to embrace my Budgeting OCD. Here are three symptoms of this (completely made up) disorder and how it comes in handy

.Card declined

1. Checking Your Bank Account and Credit Card Accounts Constantly – Just this past week I was at the checkout at ShopRite when the mother of all embarrassing incidents occurred – my debit card was declined. I knew it wasn’t because of lack of funds. As it turned out our account had been hacked (which happens to people WAY more often nowadays). Luckily our bank (Hudson Heritage FCU) blocked the fraudulent charges before they even drafted from our account and canceled our cards as a precaution. BUT I know that thanks to my Budgeting OCD I would have caught the bogus charges myself the same day they posted and could dispute them right away. I check my account once a day so no thief has a prayer of slipping those smaller charges by me that they use to test whether or not you’ll notice before they go ahead and drain your account.

cartoon about debt calories

2. Cutting The DEBT Calories – If you think of debt like calories, it’s easier to understand how people get in so much trouble. Nobody thinks that one indulgent piece of cake is going to make them fat and it won’t. It’s years of unchecked eating of those yummy fat laden calories that pack on the pounds. It’s the same with debt. It’s not any one innocent purchase that gets you in debt, it’s unchecked spending for years and the mistaken thinking that it doesn’t matter what you spend because you’re making your payments.

Budgeting OCD makes me hyper vigilant of those little purchases. I actually find them more offensive than large purchases, like those sneaky little trips to the drive thru for instance. Nobody thinks $5 for lunch or $20 for gas is going to put them in debt. It’s precisely those innocent amounts that let you deny to yourself how much you’re really spending each week, month or year. You know what they say, watch the ounces and the pounds take care of themselves.

3. Being Almost Militarily In-Line With My Spouse – Before I became a SAHM my husband and I had our own bank accounts complete with matching his and her debt to go with it. For  years he paid some bills and I paid others. That is until we hit hard times, dropped to one income, and had to face how much debt we were really in. After we came up with a game plan to get out of debt and live on one income we knew how important it would be to get on the same page with our finances. The idea that we’d have to justify our spending to each other once turned me off, which is why it took so long to combine our accounts.

Now I see it differently; it’s stretching and growing my trust in my partner. He and I both know where we want our money to go and neither of us would purposely set us off track. My Budgeting OCD has made me a better planner, a better saver and a more trusting wife (even if I still drive him a little nuts sometimes). So thanks to my AMAZING husband for putting up with my neurotic self!