When you want something it’s really easy to just get it—even if you don’t have the money. This is how I got into credit card debt. I bought things I wanted, without having to wait and save up for them. As a result, one thing became two, three, four, and before I knew it, I had £15k of consumer debt. All because of not waiting till I had the money to get things that I wanted.
Learning to be better with money means developing patience, discipline and planning skills.
Right now I want to spend £70 on something that I feel I need right now. The problem with that is I don’t have that £70 right now. I could have it by Wednesday when the new month rolls around, but something in me just doesn’t want to wait. I’m saying to myself that I can just spend it on overdraft now and cover the payment on Wednesday. Sounds reasonable enough, and what’s a couple of days anyway? But the problem with that is it’s a slippery mental slope into debt; I’m adopting a practice which allows me to pay for things with money I don’t have. Again, that’s the mentality that got me into debt in the first place.
So although I could technically take out my £70 subscription right now and it wouldn’t make much difference to my bank, it may make I difference to my mentality if I wait and find the money first by allocating funding to the expense from cash I have on hand before making the purchase.
This is what I have decided to do.
Hopefully, doing this will help me build a little bit more discipline in my financial decision-making so that I don’t go spending money I don’t have (yet) on things I feel I need right away and thereby accepting debt and creating a mental acceptance of indebtedness that is more harmful than the debt itself.