Our Financial Wounds are Often Self-Inflicted

by Kevin on August 27, 2013

I’m a pretty logical, straightforward thinker.

I’d like to believe, for the most part, that I can see the things around me and the purchases I’ve made and fully understand what they’re costing me. There will always be the niggling factors like utility cost for something that is always plugged in, but for the most part I know if I spent a dollar on something I know it cost me a dollar.

For those that are in debt that dollar of spending can be come two, or three, or ten.

If you are feeling beaten up by your debt and the interest payments you are making, look around you.

What do you see?

Do you see the latest and great technology? Are you using a “phablet” (a phone so large it could be a tablet) or an iPhone or iAnything?

Do you see fancy furniture that you couldn’t really afford but the financing deal was so good you bought it anyways? (And the financing goes from 0% for 36 months to 20% retroactive if you are late on just one payment…)

Do you see all kinds of services? Netflix, a cleaning lady, someone to mow your yard, the biggest phone minutes and data plan, or even something like a homeowners or condo association? (Or in our case, Rural Metro for fire and ambulance service… but we’re not in debt.)

Do you see closets overflowing with clothes expensive or not? Some with the tags still on because it was such a good deal? Or tens of pairs of shoes that you wear once or twice every few months?

What about the driveway? Do you see newer vehicles with large payments attached to them? And since they are newer your auto insurance costs run higher, too.

Our Wounds are Self-Inflicted

A vast majority of our financial wounds are self-inflicted.

No one held a gun to your head and made you buy that iPad or that leather couch. No one made you pay full price on a brand new vehicle with a “great” payment plan. No one forced you to have a smartphone.

We have to own up and take responsibility for our actions. Continuing to make excuses for simple decisions that add up over time is not only not going to fix the situation but also enable us to continue making the same mistakes over and over.

I’ll give a pass to those that find themselves in situations that weren’t fully in their control. If you’re in debt due to some crazy medical bills from an extended hospital stay, I’m sorry. If you ended up on the short end of a nasty divorce — maybe you were the stay at home spouse and you’re trying to restart your career on short notice — I’m sorry.

But for the rest of us?

Look around you at all of the stuff in your home. Then go look in the mirror.

The responsibility lies with you. Not just as the one who created the problem.

But as the one who can fix it, too.

Will you?

{ 2 comments }

Crystal August 28, 2013 at 2:30 am

I had this moment of clarity a while ago. Now we try to only buy or spend on things we value – whether it be stuff or experiences. Great post!

Steve Will September 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Great article on how we inflict debt onto ourselves, completely agree we need to look around our homes and figure out how we got into trouble.

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