It is probably safe to say that consumerism brought about all the debt that we have – or at least shaped us to think that it is okay to have them. This type of socio-economic order encourages all of us to buy products as society, through media, dictates. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this idea because we do need to consume certain products, it prompts us to make all the wrong financial choices just to keep up with that society deems as the picture of success. Our natural need to prove ourselves and satisfy the “sense of belonging” to a group leads us to make spending decisions that may not be the smartest financial move.
In most cases, we succumb to popular consumer habits that lead us towards debt and our financial ruin. We are too focused on the present that we fail to realize it is costing us our future. You need to understand that certain habits may not be healthy and could put your future self in a difficult position. It doesn’t matter if you hold several jobs to earn more, you will find it hard to pull yourself out of the debt cycle if you cannot correct these faulty consumer habits.
One of the habits that you should be wary about is when you try to justify your want as a need. You need define clearly what constitutes a want from a need because if not, you may be spending on things that is really just a waste of your limited resources. When you make a budget, be strict in defining these two. Make a commitment to stick to your list and only purchase what you need if your finances cannot afford to pay for both.
Another consumer habit that is very destructive is the use of credit cards. This is one of the products of modern consumerism that caused a lot of people financial troubles – especially when the latest recession hit. This card allowed people to buy things that they cannot afford to pay for in cash. It made them dependent on a future income that has yet to arrive. If something goes wrong and that future income is compromised because of job loss or a medical condition that leaves them unable to work, then the credit card debt will be in trouble.
Retail therapy is also a dangerous habit that you should learn to overcome. In fact, some financial experts advise against shopping when you are in a high emotional state. Whether that is extreme happiness, stress or sadness, you should not buy anything because it will lead you to justify want purchases as needs.
If you have to put yourself in debt, you need to realize that it should only be for your own personal growth. Anything that does not contribute should not be bought – at least if you do not have the extra money for it. And even if you do, you may want to consider putting it in your savings instead.
These habits should be eliminated so that you will not put yourself in debt for it. And if you are currently in a debt situation, you know that you need to change something. Check if any of these habits are being implemented in your life. If they are, then you have to make changes. Choose a debt relief option that will help you get out of your current predicament. By combining these two, you can solve your debt problems and stay out of debt at the same time.
I am a personal finance blogger for National Debt Relief, a Debt Consolidation Company that has helped thousands of Americans facing credit card debt problems. Get help with your financial situation with a free budget analysis and debt relief quote.
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