Financial Fads

If you’ve ever spent any time trying to figure out how to drop a couple of pounds, you’ll know what I mean when I say that there are hundreds of fad diets out there. Everything from consuming nothing but water with cayenne pepper in it for days on end, to smelling foods but not consuming them. Fad diets are everywhere.

There are fads for everything; fashion, beauty products, even food (right now, it’s sriracha and everything being on a stick or in mason jars). Unsurprisingly, there are also money fads. A few of the more interesting ones are below:

financial fads


Financial Fad: Frozen Credit Cards

I remember being younger and my mom freezing her credit card – literally, in a block of ice – to prevent herself from using it. This was back when online shopping and online banking didn’t exist with as much prevalence as it does now. Because you don’t physically need the card anymore to make purchases with it, this method definitely wouldn’t work in  today’s day and age.

It worked great for my mom, temporarily, however, to curb impulse shopping with money that she didn’t have at the time.

Financial Fads: Hypnosis

Hypnosis was popular recently for people who wanted to stop smoking or lose weight, but it was also a popular financial diet to stop people from spending money they didn’t have on things that they didn’t need. In fact, people were using hypnosis for a lot of purposes a few years ago.

Financial Fads: Spending Fasts

I don’t know that this fad is completely out yet, but spending fasts were many people’s preferred way of saving money in the last couple of years. They challenge themselves to not eat out, or to not spend frivolously for a period of time. I thought this may have been just a fad in the personal finance realm, but apparently not. A couple of friends of mine from two completely different sides of the country both posted on Facebook about their spending fasts in the last few months.


There are probably a hundred other fad financial diets out there. Just like fad diets, they never quite work. If you’re going to spend, you’re going to spend regardless of these fads. Don’t get sucked in!

30 thoughts on “Financial Fads

  1. I’ll definitely be interested in seeing if the “spending fast” deal is a fad or if it’s a behavior that’s here to stay as a new characteristic of being frugal. I’m thinking your diet analogy is dead on with this one.. just like when you completely deprive yourself of certain foods for a period of time you’re then more likely to binge on them later, I feel like unless you’re REALLY disciplined, people trying a spending fast will go spending crazy when it’s over to make up for that period of deprivation.

  2. You’re reminding me of a funny scene out of the film ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ where she’s smashing up a block of ice with her designer shoes just to get her only remaining card out. My wife forced me to watch it 🙂 Have a great weekend Daisy!

  3. I think the spending fasts are permanent fixes but they are good little ways to save extra money here and there. Not eating out for a month can put extra money in your pocket. Now the key is to not go over your budget the following month and justify it by saying you didn’t spend any last month so it’s allowed.

    • daisy says:

      Agreed – they can. and that can be reinvested. But I think many people do go over their budget the next month with excuses.

  4. I’ve never frozen my credit card, I cut it up this year instead. No credit card= no temptation to buy something unless I have the money in my checking account. It’s really a stress-free way to live for me.

  5. I’ve never heard of frozen credit cards either. Wow! I’ve heard of people hiding cash in the freezer, but this is something different, haha. Interesting take on money and diet fads! But you are so right, we can access our funds even without cards. Does that mean people with money spending problems are now more at risk?

  6. I’ve never even thought about freezing a credit card but I can see how that would work. 🙂 Unlike most people I actually like to roll my coins but I wouldn’t really call that a fad.

  7. Spending fasts never work for me. I might not spend for a month but then there’s a month’s worth of spending once the fast is over (because I can’t not buy certain essentials). Maybe I was just doing the fast wrong, but I’d imagine that most people do these fads “wrong” in some way or another and that’s part of the reason they’re ineffective.

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