Wednesday, April 24, 2024

10 Reasons People Overspend
by Debra Vaughn
Debra Vaughn is a stay-at-home mother to three girls. She is a freelance writer in her spare time. Debra Vaughn also edits and publishes The Family Budgeteer.

There are as many reasons that people overspend as there are budgets to help get people out of the debt overspending has caused. By talking to people, conducting surveys, and helping people throughout the years, I have made a list of ten reasons for overspending that I hear most often. Take a look to see if you fall in line with one or more of these causes to indulge.

10. Keeping up an image
Many people feel that if they fall below a certain image that the neighbors set, the neighborhood will think less of them. This is known as keeping up with the Jones'. The truth behind this is that the neighbors are thinking and feeling the same way.

9. Avoidance
I cannot tell you how many people, in all financial situations, have told me that the reason they spend too much money for lunch out with friends, shopping with the girls, etc is to not have to admit that they cannot afford to pay the bill for the whole table. If your friends drop you because you cannot afford to buy them lunch are they really friends?

8. The money is on it's way
I have heard this over and over "I thought the check was in the mail." The people who tell me this are telling the truth! The check was in the mail, either late or for far less than was expected. When they heard they were getting money, they spent it before they had money in their hands.

7. Credit doesn't feel the same
Let's face it, plastic simply does not feel the same as good old-fashioned paper cash. For this reason people use credit more often and tend to over spend much more than they would if they had used cash instead.

6. Immediate gratification
When you can go into a store, see something you think you need NOW, then get credit in 5 minutes or less, you feel a sense of accomplishment. After all, you get what you want now, and don't have to think of how you are actually going to pay for it until later, when the bill arrives.

5. Lifestyle maintenance
After a person has lived a certain way for a while and suddenly find themselves in a bad place financially, it is hard to give it up. They feel the lifestyle they have become accustomed to must be maintained, even if it means more debt followed by bankruptcy.

4. Poor as a child
Freud would love this one! Many people who were poor as a child feel the need to spend everything they can get their hands on as soon as they can. Perhaps there is a fear of someone taking the money away if it is not spent immediately. These people must realize that once it is yours, that is it, it is yours.

3. Sense of power
Spending money makes many people feel more powerful. Whether it is handing over a wad of cash or pulling out a gold card to charge money, the simple act of spending a large amount of money gives them a rush of false power.

2. Prove self worth
Spending $40 on a haircut, $120 on a designer dress, $30 on a new pair of shoes, and maybe $75 on a facial every other week sounds outrageous to most. However, for many people, it makes them feel like they are someone. It makes them feel like they are worth something to the world.

1. Just can't say NO!
This is the one that I have heard the absolute most. Whether it's a child asking a parent for the newest fad toy or a spouse wanting the newest computer game, some people just cannot say no! Even if they cannot afford to say yes. They feel like a failure if the money is not there to meet the wants of the other person. No matter what, these people will make it happen, even if it becomes a dead end to bankruptcy court.

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