Peter Jackson, BBC News Magazine,
Submitted by: Editor
Overspending disease plagues the wealthy
With her penchant for first-class air travel and lavish gifts, not to mention failed business ventures, Sarah Ferguson is by her own admission almost penniless. As she was filmed offering a reporter access to her ex-husband, the Duke of York, for cash, she revealed as much in blunt language. The duchess blamed her divorce settlement, which grants her £15,000 a year. However, that's a sum many people of more modest tastes manage to live on.
Others point to her unbridled outgoings. Indeed, the duchess herself once referred to her "overspending disease".
Jackson argues that "low income and poverty are the normal triggers for debt, but for those who had money then lost it, it can be reckless spending caused by pride or low self esteem."
Psychotherapist Benjamin Fry, who co-presents BBC Three's Spendaholics programme, says giving up a lavish lifestyle can make for a very traumatic sense of loss. He says people can become attached to money like a drug, with the most insecure needing the most.
"If you were to force an addict to stop taking drugs, it can be very difficult. The way to cope is to try really hard to invest in non-material sources of wealth - family, relationships, community or self care."
He adds: "People do overspend because they've got a low sense of self worth. If you feel very small on the inside and present yourself as very big on the outside, it's compensation."
A short list of money troubles among the ridiculously wealthy: