Different people have different reasons for spending more money than they have. Most of the time it is due to emotional causes. One reason is impulsivity. People think “If I don’t grab everything now, I’m going to lose it.” Salespeople bank on that emotional stimulus, most if not all the time. Another reason is the tremendous pressure in the society to be like everyone else. It means having the mindset that it is fashionable to get the latest cell phone model, new clothes more often than necessary, dining out or be seen in dining in the most popular places several times a week, etc. The dictates of advertising is endless.
According to Clifford Vendt, a financial counselor in Salem, New Hampshire the major stumbling block is a total misunderstanding of family financial management, coupled with easy credit, coupled with misunderstanding of the word ‘stewardship.’ What poses a big problem is the inability to consider the future consequences of trying to meet today’s desires. So much of the advertising we see has been directed toward making us expect instant gratification making it hard for us to wait. The way to bridge the gap between the level of income and your desired lifestyle is credit. People keep buying this way until they have to go without basic living needs to pay for what they’d consumed.”
Other people buy things to make up for the feeling that no one cares. Let’s take a look at a case of one wife who chose to always work and earned more than her husband. She always kept him under her thumb that if it wasn’t for her they wouldn’t have any food on the table or a roof over their heads. But, in fact, they were always in debt because she always bought everything she wanted. She felt she had all those things coming to her. That was how she dealt with what she felt as a lack of nurturing from her husband. Her impulsivity grew out of her perceived need for nurture. That’s a major reason why people go into debt. They buy on credit and figure, “I can let the credit companies nurture me.”
Sometimes impulsivity and feelings of need combine with anger. People feel angry with the system. They say “Why should I be responsible?” These people buy to the hilt, get deeply into debt and then declare bankruptcy. They are often the same people who create false insurance claims. They put all responsibility on others. It’s an issue of ripping off the system.
A less malicious reason why people go into debt is the ignorance and immaturity of people who don’t know how to handle their money and don’t ask for guidance. They think they know everything there is about money management and refuse any help. A problem that especially seems to plague many homes is the belief that the wife must be the one who manages the money. Whoever has the skill for managing money in the family should do it and, ideally, both should do it together.
No matter how or why families go into debt, they pay a high price for not properly managing their money — more than the additional interests on their credit purchases.