Why Are You Still In Debt?
There are many reasons to stay in debt. None of them are particularly good reasons when there is an entire debt free way of life available to you.
That said, the majority of people in South Africa have credit accounts, even those without work. So, why are people so eager to get into and stay in debt?
In this series of articles, we look at different reasons why people find they simply live in debt instead of being proactive and breaking the cycle.
Debt Enables Your Addiction To Stuff
By using credit people are able to ‘afford’ nice things without waiting for them. A lot of people feel that the things they have will make them happy. And if a few things make you happy then more and more things will make you happier and happier.
Like a cuckoo bird, people run around collecting the next shiny thing in order to bring it back to the nest. They go on and on adding the next exciting thing to the collection till eventually, they decide they need a bigger nest. Then rinse and repeat as they do it all over again.
Do Things = Happiness?
There is nothing wrong with having nice things. We all deserve to have nice things. The real question is does all your happiness in life come from the things you own? Does the only ‘high’ you get in life come from spending money and having new things? If so, you may have a problem.
‘There are plenty of people in the world who have lots of things. Are all of them happy?’
The things bought on credit will sadly break, they will wear out often before you have even finished paying for them.
Like any addiction, the addiction to things escalates over time pushing you to bigger and more expensive purchases to get the same ‘high’ and satisfaction as you felt in the past. This can lead you deeper and deeper into debt and you may go so far that a sudden change in your income will see your entire situation become unsustainable overnight.
There are plenty of people in the world who have lots of things. Are all of them happy? You could check the tabloids to see if all those rich people with lots of things are happy.
Saving Up For Things May Leave You Not Wanting Them Any More
It has been said that you should never buy on credit what you can buy for cash. But that requires saving up funds and waiting to get things. It steals some of the instant gratification and may even give you time to reconsider if you really need something. This is why shops provide you with the chance to buy on credit now and pay later. Just don’t forget: when you buy on credit you pay more for the item over time…often a lot more. Counting the real cost can help you change your perspective on whether you really need some more things in your nest.
‘when you buy on credit you pay more for the item over time…often a lot more’
It is much wiser in life to find value and satisfaction in things that can never be damaged, lost or stolen. Things that do not wear out or break. It is often better to find happiness in people, memories, ideas and places rather than shopping and things.