When people make mistakes, especially financial ones, they often times try to rationalize their behavior afterward. But there is no valid excuse for spending your way into credit card debt. Here are 5 of the most common excuses people use to justify their overspending.
1. I’m Getting A Good Deal
Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. This is a trick retailers use to lure you into buying something. Haven’t you noticed that every single store always has items on sale all the time? Most of the time sales aren’t really sales at all. They simply jack up the price 15% then offer you a 15% off discount.
Don’t fall for these marketing tricks. Rather than seeing items as being “on sale”, only focus on the final price – not the original price.
2. Everyone Else Is Doing It
When you go out with friends to the mall, odds are if they buy something you will too. It isn’t really peer pressure that’s the cause. It isn’t even competition either. It could just be that you just don’t want to be left out of all the “fun”.
But just because your friends are racking up credit card debt doesn’t mean you have to. As Dave Ramsay says “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Only buy something if you need the item and if the cost fits within your budget.
3. I’m Already In Debt Anyway
This common excuse is used by dieters all the time. If they’ve already had a bad meal earlier in the day, they think it’s okay to have another one later. They’ll just restart their diet the next day. But the truth is that you still have work out to get rid of every single calorie.
Debt works the same way. Every dollar you spend on a credit card will need to be paid back. When you decide to climb out of debt you will regret those unnecessary purchases.
4. But I Just Got A Raise
When you come upon money, whether it’s a tax prep refund, a raise or a bonus, people consider it “extra money”. So they figure why not spend it. Sure it’s okay to treat yourself for a job well done like a job promotion.But you worked hard for that money so don’t take it lightly and blow it all right away.
The best approach is a balanced one. Put aside half of your bonus to go into your savings and you can smartly spend the other half.
5. It’s Only A Few Dollars
People tend to justify some purchases by telling themselves it’s just a few dollars so it really makes no difference to their financial situation. But if you spend $5 on a Starbucks drink 5 days a week, it comes out to over $100 per month.
All of those small purchases really do add up and before you know it “only a few dollars” turns into thousands of dollars per year. Think about that the next time you want to use this excuse.