Financial Hoarding?

in Bank, Money

My wife suggested this topic, since our new guilty pleasure is to watch the A&E Series Hoaders, which is about obsessive compulsive folks, who cannot throw anything out, and thus their houses become gigantic garbage tips. The inability of the poor folks on the show to control their lives is depressing, however, for some reason we can’t turn this show off (even though the content is so disturbing). The show rarely ends with a happy ending, which I applaud, since they are usually attempting in 3 days to “cure” someone that has been hoarding for years, which shows there are no quick fixes with this kind of problem.

Financial Hoarding?

During a brainstorming session with my wife (OK, I told her I had no topic to write about and she came up with a suggestion), the topic of Financial Hoarding came to mind, so let’s wander down this topic and see whether Financial Hoarding is really a topic?

First what can we call financial hoarding ?

  • I suppose a Leprechaun’s Pot of Gold is kind of a hoard, but let’s leave fantasy out of the discussion.
  • You can hoard records, and keep this information compulsively for years. This is a more traditional form of hoarding, but I do know folks that have credit card records from 30 years, which does seem to be a little bit obsessive.
  • You can hoard money in secret bank accounts to hide money from your spouse or loved ones. I know of many folks who are guilty of this one. Is this really hoarding? It is an attempt to control things, so I think it does fit into the topic.
  • You can hoard information or paper, just because it makes you feel safer. Do you really need the mutual fund reports from 1989?
  • Hoarding is a control/power thing as well, so you can hoard financial decision making as well (not including your spouse in the decision making process). Again, I have seen many folks who refuse to include their spouses in the financial decisions, a control mechanism on their part.
  • You can hoard money around the house. There was a story about a home inspector who found $10,000 in a house he was looking at (which was being purchased) that was hidden in the ceiling. He is to be commended because he gave it to the police, but the previous owners (elderly couple) had hidden money all over the house.
  • You can hoard cheques, money orders or cash hoping to build up a big enough stash to make a purchase (I am guilty of this one). Not really hoarding, but another interesting example.

So it seems there is a case for the concept of Financial Hoarding, wonder if I could sell a different series to the A&E network?

Did I miss any possible Financial Hoarding concepts, or am I full of the stuff found in some hoarders living rooms? If Financial Hoarding is a real concept, is it a bad thing?

By the by, the most disturbing show was the guy who let rats take over his house, yikes!.


  • Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey January 23, 2011, 11:32 PM

    Did you also see the one where the woman couldn’t even close her freezer because so much stuff was ooozing out?! Disgusting!

  • Karen January 18, 2011, 4:46 PM

    There was an episode of either Hoarders or Hoarding; Buried Alive where a woman not only hoarded junk in her house, but she also hoarded a large sums of money in bank accounts. Since she just wanted that money to continue to grow, she was living with a house overstuffed with flea market and roadside-find “treasures.”

  • Patricia January 18, 2011, 9:19 AM

    I wonder if Financial hoarding could be considered the accumulation of wealth to excess. By that I mean those who save aggressively with no intention of spending any of their accumulated wealth for fear of simply not having money in the future to meet their basic needs.

    • bigcajunman January 18, 2011, 9:28 AM

      That is an excellent point, and Michael James has a good line for that (from a commentary about Sir Richard Branson):

      How many yachts do you need to water ski behind?


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