When financially stressed, only buy what you really need.
Often we are tempted to spend in order to get what someone else has, or to show off what we have. Spending might also be something about wanting to be seen in ‘that’ shop, or buying ‘that’ brand. So then our spending is not really about what we need, but more about how we are feeling.
I remember being out with a group of people and noticing a couple who were ordering all the flashy drinks. They seemed to be selecting food by the price tag – the highest price. It all felt a bit peculiar.
By chance I bumped into the wife a few days later and we started chatting. Surprisingly she opened up about their financial difficulties and proudly explained that in an effort to help out she had recently taken a job as a junior PA. We got into the nitty gritty of their dinner bill and calculated that, without the interest charges on the credit card, the bill was equivalent to three days of her salary. She literally jumped out her chair in horror at the realisation of the real cost of ‘flashing the cash’.
So the thing to think about is the real value, or the personal meaning of each purchase. Most purchases are not just functional, but usually have an emotional element associate as well. It may be a need to boost self-esteem, a need to be seen as being generous, a need to be seen as successful or a need to show that you are not at the ‘bottom of the pile’. Then again, it might be a need to stay in with your friendship circle, a desire to feel good about yourself, or a way to comfort a sad feeling.
None of these feelings in themselves are wrong or bad. The problem arises when you try to satisfy this need with money you do not have. This spending behaviour is really a type of craziness, yet so many of us indulge in it that it has become the norm. Everybody does it, don’t they? The smart way, the way to truly care for yourself, is to acknowledge the need that you have and find ways to satisfy the need without excessive spending and thereby getting into the stress of debt.
If this subject talks to you, then it is time to get out of the over-spending trap. To help you with the emotional challenges of spending, free professional guidance is available to you, just Call 0800 22 93 55. Do not feel that you are alone in this experience. More people are now having the courage to explore ways of taking control of their lives and bringing out the best of themselves. Ultimately this really is more valuable that anything money can buy.
If you are already deeply in debt, and need help with managing your finances, then financial help is also available. Call the same number 0800 22 93 55 and ask to be connected to Debt Rescue. This is a free service that will administer the full process of managing your way out of debt. Watch this video to get more information on the Debt Rescue process.