Are you feeling sick from the being overworked and spending all of your money trying to keep up with the neighbors? You may have affluenza or symptoms associated with wanton spending that usually leads to maxing out your credit cards. Financially stable people have proven to lead happier and healthier lives but many people are spending in a desperate effort to achieve happiness. This is not the typical result. Emotional overspending actually leads people to more stress because they see the negative impact on their financial security.
The Wall Street Journal recently explored this issue in an article researched and written by Veronica Dagher. Dagher interviewed several people who admitted to overspending. Although these people came from various financial situations they all felt that the act of overspending caused them tension rather than created a happy experience. Many people have an emotional relationship with spending and it can even cause a “high” feeling when in the moment. However, feelings of regret begin to set in shortly after.
Can’t Buy Love or Happiness
The leading cause of domestic distress is financial insecurity. Couples fight over money and their financial future more than any other relationship topic. Society often illustrates the successful person with a nice home, expensive cars, and fabulous furnishings and this is a difficult accomplishment. Happiness can be disguised in the everyday things that you may purchase and when the cost is out of our budget, you resort to maxing out your credit cards. These items provide a temporary pleasure that fades when you find yourself working overtime to maintain your lifestyle with little savings for your future.
Know your triggers
Overspending can be addictive. There are reasons that you are motivated to buy things that you may not necessarily need; sadness, competitiveness, or perhaps a misguided ego. There is no shame in the reasons that we want new things but it is important to identify what those triggers may be. Once you know what urges you to shop senselessly then you can begin to reverse the damage. It may be necessary to replace the habit of shopping with a healthy alternative. Take a walk to prevent yourself from maxing out your credit cards.
Re-imagine your idea of success
Think about what success means to you. Certainly, it is something that you expect to have over a lifetime and not just for a short period of your life. If you want to have the biggest house on the block, then make a budget that will afford you such a dream but that budget cannot be successful if it means that you are maxing out your credit cards as part of the plan. Make a plan that manages your temptations and works to fulfill your life goals.
It is often easier to make small but significant changes in your spending rather than to make drastic changes. It can be as small as skipping your daily coffee and saving that money or using it to pay a bill off. Some people use a cash only method since most people find “virtual” spending easier than letting cold hard cash go. There are many money saving tricks that can be fun; the $5.00 challenge is where you save every $5.00 bill that you have for a year or collect all of your change. These savings could also be used as “mad money”; money that you spend when you cannot fight the urge to spend any longer but at least there is a budget and it does not involve interest.
It is important that we have healthy ideals about the value of the things that we purchase. Many people in our modern society work long hours and unconventional shifts. These long workdays and workweeks take time away from our families and friends. Perhaps you are maxing out your credit cards for costly family vacations because you feel guilt for spending so much time away. It would be better spent if you found a way to scale back your spending and invest in the people in your life. However, the family trip is a better way to spend your money than on that high dollar sports car. The vacation will create memories for the whole family and could provide you with that sense of relaxation and satisfaction that you were craving.
Financial health is a struggle for most people so if you can relate to the topics covered in this article feel secure knowing that you are not alone. There are many organizations and articles that can help you achieve your definition of success and they all agree that credit cards should never be used for overspending. Once you have identified your goals, recognized your spending triggers and focus on the priceless things in life; then you will be rich, successful and most importantly the happiest person that you know.