Do You Suffer From Financial Inferiority Complex?

If so, please read the following post and seek help for your affliction before it is too late. Financial Inferiority Complex affects millions of Americans, and is spread rapidly by media outlets, car lots, Realtors, and yes, even our government.  If you’ve ever felt compelled to buy a home instead of rent, lease a new car to keep up with your neighbors, or felt a twinge of jealousy because your best friend was approved for a platinum card but your credit card is gold, then this information is for you.

Disclaimer: The information below is for entertainment purposes only and should not be used to treat a real health problem or psychological condition. Duh!

What is Financial Inferiority Complex?

FIC is a range of symptoms involving the central common sense system, traveling from the security gland to the heart. Fortunately, the brain is unaffected as those with FIC are typically not using it. If left untreated FIC can cause serious damage to one’s pride and sense of self-worth. Fortunately, there are a host of home remedies for FIC, which if utilized properly, can head off the need more invasive procedures later in life.

What are the symptoms of Financial Inferiority Complex?

Identifying the symptoms of FIC can be difficult, especially through self examination of one’s own habits. Often the affliction is detected by a friend or loved one honest enough to tell you the truth about your behavior. If you know anyone with the following symptoms, or recognize them in yourself, please read on to determine treatment options.

Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Hostility towards “rich” friends and associates
  • Insatiable appetite for stuff
  • Feelings of shame over debt
  • Car fever, especially when accompanied by visits to new car lots
  • Feelings of anxiety when credit cards are being swiped

Treatment Options

Financial Inferiority Complex presents in various forms, and the best course of treatment often depends on how long the patient has had symptoms, and the severity of those symptoms. For some, prescribing a budget and icing down their credit cards may be enough. For sicker patients, a complete credit card plasectomy may be required, which involves taking scissors to all credit cards in their wallet. This is a risky procedure as the closing of credit cards after surgery may lead to low FICO scores, or in extreme cases no FICO score at all.

The best way to prevent Financial Inferiority Complex is to subscribe to Frugal Dad. The daily dose of financial common sense helps patients cope with the barrage of temptation that surrounds them. But you should not rely on Frugal Dad alone. It is ultimately up to you to be content with your life and your posessions.  Judge your success not on the accumulation of material things, but on the accumulation of relationships built with loved ones. On the impact you have in other people’s lives. Ultimately, that is the only known vaccine guaranteed to prevent Financial Inferiority Complex.


  1. Financial Inferiority Complex is also spread by the “experts.”

    Much of the conventional money advice is a mix of genuine insights and stuff aimed at making us feel that we need to place our faith in poobahs. The total product is not nearly as effective as it would be if marketing considerations did not undermine the power that the genuine insights might otherwise deliver.


  2. I might feel a small ping of shame when my beater-car sits in the parking lot surrounded by newer and shinier models, but ITS paid for! Funny article, but here’s my (current) definition of FIC: knowing you’ve fallen short of common sense money management in the past, and while currently paying down debt and attempting to live a more frugal lifestyle, reading all these wonderful PF/Frugality blogs where the authors have it all together! Why can’t I have no-debt-but-the-mortgage? WAH. But FIC in my case creates inspiration/motivation to keep reading and working the debt reduction plan, not keep spending and trying to keep up with the neighbors or coworkers driving those prettier cars.

  3. Oh FD- this was a giggler for sure. I remember those days of sweating when a clerk was swiping my credit card. It was a very sick sinking feeling!
    Thanks for the good advice and refreshing commentary!

  4. Hi

    Very funny post.

    It is interesting to watch adverts and deconstruct the actual message that they are trying to put in your head. “Buy this car, wear these clothes, drink this drink etc. and you will be more attractive/more popular/more succesful”

    When you think about it like this it becomes obvious how ridiculous it is!

  5. “Car fever, especially when accompanied by visits to new car lots” – Hah! It doesn’t help when you live within walking distance of one either 😉

    Brilliant post my man, nice & entertaining – just how I like it.

  6. Funny article with a serious message. Well done!

    “It is ultimately up to you to be content with your life and your posessions. Judge your success not on the accumulation of material things, but on the accumulation of relationships built with loved ones. On the impact you have in other people’s lives.” Very deep message there.

    In order to do that we need to find ways to detach from the culture around us, and spend some time in quiet places where no one is telling us what to think.

  7. Goes back to an old saying… Mind over Matter – and if you don’t Mind, it doesen’t matter 🙂

  8. Your post touches on the important emotional aspects of why we spend.

    It’s really never about what we buy or want. It’s about why it’s important to us. Why we put ourselves in jeopardy.

    Until we understand what drives us to make poor spending/financial choices, which even intelligent people who truly know better continue to do, we can’t really get out of our problem and change our behavior.

    FYI: For many, it’s not about having the best or keeping up with the neighbors. It’s not even entitlement (I deserve the best.)

    It’s far more complicated and deep. if you look deep into the hearts and souls of people with debt, and a pattern of financial irresponsibility (no matter how it shows up), you will see someone with emotional issues and challenges. Someone who doesn’t feel secure, loved and/or safe.

    When you feel secure, loved and safe, you don’t make choices that hurt you.

    Another side of it is those who seek to make others feel secure, loved and safe by spending on them. Again, this doesn’t work either.

    If you want an example, look at someone like Michael Jackson, who by many accounts was a shrewd businessperson but not good at personal finance. Hmmm. Why the disconnect? I’m thinking if you or I could generate billions over a lifetime, we would not be in debt. Or would we be, just like him?

    Think about it. All the adoration. His children. Nothing made him feel loved. All that stuff and still no happiness. And clearly, lots of emotional and physical pain.

    Stuff won’t make us happy. Even all those “experiences” people talk about won’t either.

    All we do is dig ourselves into big holes with our debt, which, I think does come from an inferiority complex (we don’t deserve to be debt free and happy!)

    GOod topic.

  9. Cool! I’ve got a few risk factors for FIC myself, such as:

    – Coming from a family of big spenders
    – Having (non-divorce, non-medical) bankruptcies in the family
    – Having a “close” family where there’s lots of gift giving and entertaining (a perfect chance to show off all of one’s toys), and
    – Coming from a family or ethnic tradition in which financially indulging one another is considered a sign of love.