The FIRE Movement

An Unhealthy Obsession With Money

obsessed with money

I’m pretty sure that I have an unhealthy obsession with money. You’re probably obsessed with money too.  This obsession snuck up on me disguised as a goal to get my financial act together. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.


The odd part is that I don’t feel like I’m obsessed with making or saving money, although all of the evidence says otherwise (Hello! I’ve got 2.5 personal finance blogs and four personal finance twitter accounts).

I wouldn’t call it an an all-consuming obsession, but I think about the stuff way too much.  If balance is required in all things, I’m out of balance.


I blame the obsession on FIRE. Discovering this mathmagical retirement calculation was a HUGE epiphany moment for me

Since that moment I’ve been on a perpetual hunt to:

  • Cut unnecessary expenses
  • Negotiate my bills lower
  • Boost my income
  • Optimized my tax burden
  • Look for side hustles
  • Hoard cash

I’m on a never-ending quest to make my finances as efficient as possible, all in the name of reaching financial independence and retiring early.

I’m not just pursuing FIRE, I’ve become a FIromaniac that’s obsessed with money and I can’t stop thinking about and working on achieving financial independence as soon as possible.

A person with an unhealthy obsession with the FIRE movement is a firomaniac.

  • A person suffering from an obsession with financial independence and early retirement
  • “Ty can’t stop thinking about the FIRE movement and has become firomaniac”
  • synonym: plutomania


The sad thing is that it doesn’t need to be this way. Personal finance is easy. Want to know how to drastically and quickly improve your financial situation? Here you go:

  1. Spend less money than you earn
  2. Eliminate, then avoid debt
  3. Invest the difference in low cost index funds
  4. Avoid lifestyle inflation

That’s it.  Want to become financially independent and retire early?  That’s simple as well:

  1. Save 25 times your annual expenses; invest this in index funds
  2. Live off 4% of what your index fund portfolio generates

That’s it. Personal finance is easy.  I should have taken this info, got my financial act together, then moved on to another part of my life that needed work. But so far I’ve been unable to do so.


I wish I had a solution to this problem, but I don’t.  At least I’m aware of it and can try to regain balance.  I’m publishing this blog post today for a couple of reasons:

  1. To admit to myself that I’ve become a FIromaniac
  2. To provide a warning to readers that becoming a financial FIromaniac is dangerously easy

The FIRE Movement is a slippery slope that can easily lead to an unhealthy obsession with money. #FI #FIRE #FinancialIndependence #EarlyRetirement #Firomaniac

Chime in!

Are you obsessed with money?  Have you crossed the line and become a FIromaniac?  Have you ever found yourself out of balance?  If so, what have you done (or are you doing) to re-center yourself?

By Ty Roberts

Ty Roberts is the founder of Camp FIRE Finance, and a husband and father of four living in the Seattle area. He's a fan of the 4% rule, 80s movies and music, dad jokes and cast iron cooking.

15 replies on “An Unhealthy Obsession With Money”

Hey Ty. The first step of being an addict is admitting you’re an addict! It’s certainly possible to become addicted to saving too much money. I have a friend who was too obsessed, and it cost him a lot of joy in life.

In all things, balance.

Especially money. Go live a little, just not too much.

Compared to the average American I’m a pyro. Compared to the average FIRE enthusiast I’m not. Perhaps it’s because we’re no longer climbing and doing more financial coasting. Still, if I can take action to impact our budget and get value out of it, like a recent Provider switch to Total Wireless, I’m in.

This one hits home.

I was just saying to my wife that I feel like I’m maybe consuming a bit too much FIRE content and it’s making me discontent with my job situation and impatient for reaching FI. Part of the trouble is having money constantly on the brain and part of it is the unconscious comparisons that we all make with each other. It’s hard not to feel twinges of jealousy when you’re reading about someone further along the path, with a higher savings rate, or who has retired early and is “living the dream”.

I’m thinking a low-information diet might be in order.

I used to be obsessive about money, but not anymore. I’m a lot more relaxed these days. I tell myself that we’ve earned it. It’s okay to be obsessive for a while, but not forever. We’ve reached FI so we don’t have to worry about money as much anymore.
Keep at it!

Obsession about a topic is required if you’re going to do something out of the ordinary. Obsession is nothing else than extreme focus. You just have to handle it in a healthy and constructive way. Maybe it will take you to FIRE earlier?

The word obsession is mostly used by people who justify their lack of results by calling others obsessed. When you reach FIRE you can shift your focus to other areas of your life and enjoy them even more, now you don’t have to worry about money anymore. Stay focused.

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