[In Pictures: 10 Things You Should Always Buy in Bulk.]
4. Stay vigilant."I still think spending money is super cool," says Boudreaux, which means he has to keep himself in check. "I'm not cured. I'll probably always have to deal with this on some level."
5. Schedule weekly reinforcement. Boudreaux urges his clients to dedicate 15 minutes a week to conduct a financial review and focus on big goals, something he tries to do with his wife. He says everyone should know how much money it takes to run their household for 30 days and have a general overview of their recent and upcoming lifestyle spending. He calls that review session "our inoculation against impulse spending."
Sometimes he and his wife flip through their vision book and talk about what they are proud of, as well. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Boudreaux's comeback is that he managed to make it at all. Research suggests that people are heavily influenced by their upbringing and early life experiences when it comes to managing money, and people who run up debt and ruin their credit early in life often struggle with rebuilding it. Boudreaux's career in finance posed extra obstacles since financial firms are often reluctant to hire people with money problems of their own.
But today, Boudreaux says his struggles are an asset, since he's living proof to clients that it is possible to make a complete comeback. In his hometown of New Orleans, it's a message that resonates.