Do you ever wonder why it’s so hard to get to financial security?
I’m gonna give it to you straight. It’s your spending.
A lot of us are under the impression that we’re not rich because we don’t make enough money. While that might be a small percentage of us, many of us make enough money to be financially secure.
But, our day to day spending habits and living above our means is the main reason we can’t get ahead.
The questions is, why do we continue to spend, knowing full well that we can’t afford it?
It’s a phenomenon. An insane method that leads us to dig deeper in debt. And yet, so many of us, every day, continue to feed the system. The system that inhibits our ability to be financially free and dare I say, happy.
It’s a question that many of us beat ourselves up with on a regular basis. For some, it could be an everyday occurrence.
We spend and spend until we’re broke. And then we spend some more.
But, why do we put ourselves in this hamster wheel that is our demise?
Why do we intently continue to do the one thing that hurts us the most?
The bigger question we continue to ask ourselves, is why then are we the only ones broke while others are out living the life we dream of?
The truth is…most of the time….they’re broke too. It’s a high caliber game of bluffing with material possessions to make the other guy think we have the best cards.
But the feeling that we are alone in our debt struggle can lead so many into depression.
While we can change the outcome of this endless cycle, many of us are paralyzed in the comfort zone of debt. We are stuck in the norm we’ve build around ourselves.
Our conscience constantly attempts to remind us that spending more money will only make things worse.
But, for some reason (or reasons), we shut that conscience up and go about our daily business….of getting into more debt.
We’re going to dive a little deeper into why we continue to spend when we know we are broke. I hope to help you find the answer and find the way out of the cycle.
Perhaps find a new perspective along the way and work on a mindset that will help you on your financial journey. A journey that will lead to your happiness and the life you dream of.
So, why do we spend when we’re broke and already in debt?
Here are some of the reasons that have come up in my life and the lives of those around me.
Reason 1- We want to keep up with the image
It doesn’t matter that we know how broke we are. It matters that our frenemy only knows how successful we are and how much money we have…even if all of that is just a facade.
Many social circles and cultures promote this kind of behavior and for me, this held true on so many levels.
I come from a Middle-Eastern background where money needed to be shown by the material possessions we flaunted around.
If you walked into a party hall, you’d see a dozen women (at least) in the Louboutins and their Louis Vuitton bags.
In fact, I was at a charity just a couple of years ago for my church and the MC (who wasn’t middle-eastern) commented on this very fact…using it as a strategy to make those women donate more money.
Because, looking like you have it all convinces others that you do. At that point, the image is set and no one in their right mind wants their wonderful image altered. So, staying in debt is the price to pay to stay on that pedestal. Pretty sad.
I lived this life for a really long time. It wasn’t until about 7 years ago that I was finally convinced to change my mindset and fix my spending.
Now that I’m living my best life, I have no idea how I lasted as long as I did with all that stress. And for what? So the people around me can say I’m rich?
I’m rich now and I don’t care what people have to say. My mindset got me to where I was dreaming to be. And now my image is not as important as the money in my bank account and the peace and security I feel.
Reason 2- You’re stuck in the cycle and literally can’t afford to get out
I’ve been here too. You pay off your debt, but that payment eats a chunk out of the money you have left to make ends meet, so you charge those groceries on your credit card.
It’s an endless cycle that can be avoided with some budgeting and planning. It will take a few months of adjusting, but if you set your mind to do it, it will be done.
Here are some ways to get started on tackling your debt and controlling your money:
Reason 3- You love to shop
I feel like with every reason, I find myself saying “me too”. Shopping is an addicting habit and now it’s easier than ever to shop in pj’s.
You just don’t feel the pain of pulling out cash in person. You’re doing everything with a piece of plastic and it’s effortless.
But, here’s the thing. The wrong things tend to be enticing and effortless. But, they ultimately keep us trapped in a life we don’t want.
Taking shopping completely out of your life is not the answer. I will never say that to you.
But, take it from a recovering shopaholic, living debt-free and stress-free from money issues is well worth putting down the plastic card. Trust me, you don’t need another shirt right this instant.
Reason 4- You’re scared that you’ll fail
I’m gonna tell you the absolute truth. Chances are the first few months, you WILL fail. You will fall off and binge shop. You’ll accrue a little more debt.
You may want to give up altogether. Feel those feelings and keep going anyway. I was there and the first 6 months I fudged the budget and would be so disappointed, but the first month that my budget worked, I was elated!
I cannot tell you the sense of empowerment I felt. It was exhilarating and motivating. I proved to myself (who needed the most convincing) that I CAN do this.
And while there will always be those days that don’t quite pan out, most of the time, I’m consistently growing my wealth and my happiness.
Reason 5- You have no idea where to start.
There are so many tools and tips out there when you’re first starting your journey that it can all be a little overwhelming.
And while they all seem helpful, you are not sure you know which one of those tips will make the biggest impact and you don’t want to waste time trying them all out to find out for yourself.
So, you decide you’ll start next month or next year. And 5 years later, you’re at the same place, wondering if you’ll ever get to a better life.
Start with baby steps. Start with a budget draft that shows you what you are actually spending every single month.
See what your bills add up to.
Find out how many months or years it will take to be debt free.
The first step is to assess the wound before making a diagnoses that heals.
Track your spending for 30 days without making a single change. Take things slow. The slower, the more you’ll adapt to them.
When we start to analyze our spending habits, we can find the root to why we spend. And that will help us break the addiction to spend more than we have.