It certainly isn't hard to get into debt today. Businesses create compelling ads that entice you into buying things you don't really need. Paying cash is a thing of the past. Items can be easily purchased on credit or debit cards, either in person or on-line. This results in careless spending and improper financial planning that can quickly throw you into the debt trap. Then once you are caught, it is very hard to get back on track again.
Why do so many people get caught in the debt trap? This is mainly because we have developed an entitlement mindset and believing that we deserve to have everything we want. We don't even need the cash to cover our purchases, all we have to do put it on our credit cards and pay for it later. Sometimes we even ignore the needs of our families and waste money on things we don't need instead of paying for important things like bills and groceries.
We continually hear these statements: you deserve the best, shop till you drop, just charge it, treat yourself, pay later. What sounds like a good idea ends up becoming a burden when the credit card statements come and there isn't enough in our bank account to cover the minimum amount.
Have you ever considered how much money you spend on stuff you don't really need? There is a huge difference between needs and wants. We might really believe that we need something when in fact, we really don't need it, we just want it. Here is a quick list of some costly wants:
- COFFEE - If you buy 2 coffees a day costing $1.60 - in one year you will spend $1,168.00.
- EATING OUT - If you eat out at a restaurant once a week and spend $80.00 - in one year you will spend $4,160.
- TAKE OUT - If you bring home food once a week and spend $40 - in one year you will spend $2,080.
- CLOTHING - If you buy 1 new item of clothing each week and spend $50 - in one year you will spend $2,600.
- GROCERIES - If you buy extra snacks, sweets and treats each week when you buy groceries and spend $40 - in one year you will spend $2,080.
If you total all these things, they come to over $12,000! Yikes. This could buy a car, a down payment on a house or even be saved towards the future.
Think about the things that you buy that are totally unnecessary. It may not seem like you are spending much money at the time, but it really adds up. Don't put yourself in debt over unimportant things. Digging yourself into debt is not fun and it takes a long time to recover. Make sure you are spending your money wisely. Don't get yourself into a debt trap.