I also understand that to benefit from the service I will be sent emails about relevant surveys and membership updates. I allow collection, use and sharing of my profile data for the purpose of participating in surveys. You can opt-out at any time. Earn bonuses and participate on our weekly contest. It’s a simple rule, and most would consider it common sense. American families spend more than they earn each year.
It’s helpful to understand why people over spend, and be aware of any that might apply to you. Psychology plays a big role in our spending habits. We want to feel as successful or more successful than those around us. We spend a lot of money to keep up that image. The reality is, the neighbors probably can’t afford that new boat either. It’s easy to overspend when you don’t keep tabs on how much you have. People will go for years unaware of their true financial situation because they’re afraid to look at what kind of mess they are in.
They’ll pay their minimums and add new credit cards as necessary ignoring the growing debt total. In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold made a large down-payment on his swimming pool expecting that his upcoming Christmas bonus would cover it. Instead, he was enrolled in a Jelly of the Month club. We are often similarly optimistic about incoming money. It’s spent before it’s received, and it’s often not as much as was expected nor received when expected.
It’s common to spend more when using credit cards than cash. The experience of hading over a card that you get back is just not the same as handing over some cold hard cash and seeing it disappear. We’re bombarded with the immediate gratification mentality. We’re too used to getting what we want now even if we don’t know how we’ll pay later. Most people increase their expenses as quickly as they increase their income.
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The same cannot be said for decreases in income. Once we become accustomed to a certain lifestyle, it’s pretty difficult to cut back, even if our financial situation changes for the worse. Whether they’re trying to make up for their deprivation as a child, a fear of money being taken away that isn’t spent immediately, or a lack of financial understanding, being poor as a child is an often used excuse of overspending adults. Spending money actually makes some people feel powerful. The more they spend, the more powerful they feel, and the only way to get that rush is to spend more money. Buying that fancy new car proves you are somebody, right? For some people spending makes them feel like they are worth something to the world.
Some people feel like a failure when they can’t meet the wants of others. Whether it’s new toys for the kids, new outfit for the spouse, or a night out with the friends, some people just can’t say no, even when they can’t afford to say yes. Pingback: Here’s Your Team for The Superbowl of Personal Finance! That combined with the CAN’T SAY NO, and you see what financial mess we are in. 1 of financial freedom is spending less than you earn.
So if we want to spend more, for example, buy a better house for our family, then you have to increase your income since you must spend less than you earn. This is the theory that I always think. The mindset of the two couples and nothing else. The real reason is that people have low self esteem and spend to make themselves feel good, or to solve a feeling that something is lacking in their life. This is an aspect of bipolar that is incredidibly common but rarely talked about. One thing you missed: People can spend more than they earn because they genuinely don’t know what they earn, or what they spend.
A lot of people don’t even think about doing a budget until it’s already too late. Perception is the key to riches or failure its your own direction. But you don’t have to Spend like your rich just to make other people perceive that you are and if the only reason why you are trying to get rich is to prove something to someone else, you are already headed down the wrong path anyways. This is a good post whereby people who are having issues with debt can read and understand or see themselves. Identifying your spending reasons can be a way of getting to grips with your spending problems. I think it is true that people just ignore the reality of how much they can afford to spend and don’t save even close to what they should in order to buy the things that they need.
I think some people also don’t realize that some purchases have future costs associated with them that aren’t necessarily factored in at the time of purchase. When buying a house, it has to be air conditioned, heated, furnished, taxes paid, etc. How many people ask for past home bills from the prior owner to get a sense of monthly costs? This is a great post, the biggest reason IMHO for people to spend more than they earn is the credit card and the easiness it brings to spend much more than you can afford because you don’t feel the money. As one said most of the reasons are psychological and that’s true but I think also that a good education about money and financial matters lacks overall and not only in the US but in the whole world. The reasons you portrait here are true mostly for the US because in other countries it’s not the same case and not the same possibilities but still they are quite valid.
Hopefully after this financial crisis, the millennium generation will learn to save like our grand parents did. Not every people like to spend more than he earn. While saving money is very important it is also important for people to spend money. If everyone just spent their income on their bills and nothing more, then lots of companies would go out of business and as a result people would lose their jobs. There really needs to be a balance. Spending money for stupid things is silly.
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You think how hard you work and then waste it like it’s nothing. There are TV ads that tell us in effect that to be happy, we need an expensive car, expensive clothing, and basically an expensive lifestyle. There are ads that play to our vanity. As for the cost of maintaining a car, I know full well I cannot afford it, thus, I do not plan to buy a car. A bike does the job just fine. This article is right on point. Most of our overspending is for the wrong reasons.
What about when overspending is necessary? It is so easy to spend-and so difficult to save. These are compelling reasons to spend. Looking at your article, I can see how easy it is to get into trouble. Spending can be so hard to resist. There are all of these neat toys out there.
I thought about getting a mobile phone, but I really don’t need one and I really don’t feel like spending the extra money. My mother made sure that we were clothed, fed and had a roof over our heads, but we did not have most things that every other family had. And when we did have things, a lot of times they were cheaper or off brand items. I have one brother and sister, and we had to share a lot of things. 1 was the worst thing in church, because I was always told that you can’t disappoint God, so we were always expected to give, and it was not kept in confidence.
Somehow, people would always find out how much I gave and I was criticized and ridiculed for it. All the points above are great ones and important. People just need to learn to live within their means. The More Things You Own, The More Things Own You. Can I Rollover My 401k While Still Employed? How Often do Mutual Funds Compound?