Top 10 Reasons People Over-Spend
by Debra Vaughn
Controlling Over Spending
There are as many reasons that people over spend as there are budgets to help people get out of the debt over spending has caused. By talking to people, conducting surveys and helping people throughout the years, I have made a list of the ten reasons I hear the most often. Take a look to see if you fall in line with any one or more of these causes to indulge.
10. Keeping up an image
Many people feel like 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 Joneses. The truth behind this is that the neighbors are thinking and feeling the same way.
I cannot tell you how many people in all financial situation have told me that when they spend too much money for lunch out with friends, shopping with the girls, etc it is to not have to admit to them 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 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 far less than was expected. When they heard they were getting money, they spent it before they had money in hand.
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 get this sense of accomplishment. After all, you get what you want now, and think of how you are actually going to pay for it later, when the bill arrives.
5. Lifestyle maintenance
After a person has lived a certain way for a while and suddenly they find themselves in a bad place financially, it is hard to give it up. The lifestyle they have become accustomed to, they feel, 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 are 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 right away. These people must realize that once it is yours, it really is yours.
3. Sense of power
Spending money actually 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, $50 on a new pair of shoes and maybe $75 on a facial every other week sounds outrageous to most people. 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 one 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 to some degree 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.
Debra Vaughn is a stay-at-home mother to 3 young girls. She is a freelance writer in her spare time.
Take the Next Step:
- How long will it take you to pay off debts? Debt Payoff Calculator
- Do you struggle to get ahead financially? Then you'll want to subscribe to our free weekly Surviving Tough Times newsletter aimed at helping you 'live better...for less'. Each issue features great ways to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources.
See "Tracking Expenses" in The Dollar Stretcher Community.
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- How to become a millionaire in 7 easy (hah!) steps
- 5 poor ways to save (and how to do better)
- 10 places to look for $500 in savings
- 9 savvy strategies to save for a rainy-day fund
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- 4 ways to help your parents with their finances
- The dangers of convenience checks
- How to save big bucks on a college education
- Avoiding the pressure of peer spending
- The do's and don'ts of establishing credit
- 7 habits of highly frugal people
- Reduce your debt with this free debt course by The Dollar Stretcher
- Reduce your debt payoff time
- Find a better credit card rate
- Get better savings & MMA rates