Comments by Wendy Reeves, founder of LifeGoal
We are constantly being told about our over spending and the frightening amount of debt per average person. Where does the fault lie? Is it the easy and flexible credit card – have it now and pay later? Or, could it be down to social pressures, and the ‘keeping up with the Jones” syndrome?
Maybe advertising has a part to play in our debt sending out both hard hitting and subliminal messages: “Buy one, get one free” Oh really? How many of us have tangled with our inner voice when confronted with these enticing offers; “do I really need two of these?” “Will I be able to eat/use the second one before it goes off”? “But it’s such a bargain”. The question we should be asking is “do I really need even one of these in the first place?” Probably not! For a lot of us these offers are false economies. Sales are another example; the incessant TV and radio ads, the large red stickers in retailers’ windows. These aren’t subliminal messages, these are in your face, don’t miss out messages. And right now the pressure is on to continue the spending. How many of us have stopped to ask ourselves if we are buying the goods just for the sale price?
The online financial help desk, The Motley Fool, aptly states, “As a financial topic, debt is simple. There are no complicated secrets, but – unfortunately – there are no easy solutions either. It’s going to take discipline to bury the debt monster. Anybody who says otherwise is probably just after your money. It doesn’t take a reckless person or a wild spending spree to create a debt crisis. A consistent pattern of spending just a little more than you make, overtime, can lead to a serious problem”.
Those that carry on spending with disregard to their financial situation fall into the same camp as the overweight comfort eater. Both have no control over their actions and both have dire consequences. Regular ‘retail therapy’ trips are a misnomer. The perception that spending is a cure for emotional issues is not a fix in the long term.
An article by Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent at The Independent recently stated that: “Debt experts are predicting a record number of personal insolvencies this year as excessive Christmas shopping, rising mortgage payments and soaring food and fuel costs force thousands of people over the financial edge and into bankruptcy”. Hickman goes on to say; “More than nine million individuals in Britain are now believed to be struggling to pay credit card bills and mortgages, with the average owed by problem debtors hitting £30,000.
Finding the strength from within to change bad habits can be tough, and you may benefit from the help and support of a coach. A Life Coach can help you to draw on your own resources and to find the necessary tools that will empower and motivate you to make the changes needed.
Imagine how your life would be if you were clear of debt. What would that be like? How much do you want to be clear of debt? What will be the consequences if you do nothing? What can you do today to reduce your debt?