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Spending Addiction

Big Spender: The Bachelor With $1 Million in Debt

Some guys will try to impress with slick cars, expensive dinners, and paid-for bachelor pads, but did you ever stop to wonder if your date can actually afford his extravagant lifestyle? This episode of Big Spender profiles Ian, real estate agent and bachelor, who has $1 million in debt. Casinos and creditors are calling him at home to try and collect, but Ian's too busy driving around in his brand new Bentley, 2007 Escalade, and 1960 Caddy covertible to deal with his debt. Ian acknowledges that he has a "self-destruct" button that drives him further into debt, and Larry Winget comes along to help him turn off those debt-inducing urges. To find out if Ian can start digging himself out of $1 million in debt just


Ian has closets full of clothes and some items even have dry cleaning tags from seven years ago. He's also spending $7,000 more than he makes each month — that's $85,000 a year. Larry makes Ian cut up his 27 credit cards, instructs him to sell his Bentley (that would reduce his debt by $100,000), cut down his dining out expenses from $2,400 each month to zero, and keep an expense journal so it's obvious where all of his money is going.

This was probably one of the most successful episodes of Big Spender that I've ever watched. Ian makes it clear that he understands the meaning of his debt when he says, "The stuff I own has ended up owning me." After being addicted to a lifestyle of excess for about 25 years, Ian is able to reduce his debt by $30,000 in just one month and put himself on course to living within his means and eventually becoming debt free.

So, have you ever known someone who lives an excessive lifestyle, only to later find out that the person is largely in debt?

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