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FAST TRACK DEBT RELIEF ADVICE BLOG
JAN 29, 2018, MONDAY
The Downfalls of Being Illogical with Money

We all like to think we're good with money. One of the strange things that's been revealed through financial and behavioral studies is that people think they're good with money even when they're massively in debt.

 

As a culture, we think of debt as an inconvenience rather than a serious life situation. This is a dangerous attitude that convinces people that they don't need to get out of debt. It’s not a big deal, it’ll work itself out ...even as interest and late payments pile up and collection agencies start calling.

 

Creditors, advertisers, and manufacturers all know they'll make more profits if they can convince people to be illogical with money. First, you need to make sure you don't convince yourself.

 

Unhealthy Momentum

 

Once you start falling into debt, it's easy to believe that you can stop the slide at any moment. Spending is like any addiction, though. If you tell people you can stop at any point, well then – what's the logic in stopping now? This mentality justifies continued spending, resulting in even more debt. If you believe you can stop at any time, then you believe debt is not a danger to you.

 

Once the reality hits that you're in a financially risky situation, your momentum stops. Once you believe there's nothing you can do, you hide from calls from credit card companies. You don't open bills. You seek to maintain an illusion of the status quo. You've come to a rest, and it's hard to get you moving on solving your debt problem.

 

This risks creating a new normal for you: that you'll always be in debt and that there's nothing you can do about it.

 

Healthy Momentum

 

Once you start climbing out of debt, it gets easier after a while. You have a plan, you stick to it, and the more you pay off, the more flexibility you begin to have in terms of your finances. Again, you have momentum.

 

Notice how each of these situations works? If you're sliding into debt, it's easier to justify the slide than it is to work to stop the habits that are making you spend so much. If you feel stuck in a situation, it's easier to avoid the reality – and stay stuck – than it is to reverse course and start to get out of debt.

 

And as you do get out of debt, it becomes easier to manage the debt that's left.

 

Normalization Can be Logical...or Illogical

 

Momentum is powerful, and it has to do with what you've normalized for yourself. If you normalize the idea of falling into debt, you'll perceive even more debt as normal. If you normalize the idea of being in debt forever, then chances are you will be. Yet if you normalize climbing out of debt, you have a better chance of doing so.

 

Look into a debt relief company if you need to get out of debt. Many despair because they think bankruptcy is the only option available to them, and they rightly think things aren't that bad yet. But they will get there if you don't do something soon.

 

A debt relief company offers solutions that can change your payment structure or allow you to pay a fraction of what you owe in order to zero out your debt.

 

Creditors accept this when they feel like the only other option is you paying nothing at all, so they're often reasonable about negotiation with a debt relief service.

 

Retailers Try to Make You Buy Illogically: Impulse Buying

 

A dangerous reason for falling into debt is impulse buying. A great deal of debt is caused by something that's reasonable: an emergency car repair or medical expenses. Yet some debt is created by non-essential items we “just have to have.” Efforts to climb out of debt are sabotaged by this type of illogical spending.

 

More and more, retailers are recognizing that today's customers are more resistant than ever to traditional advertising. We question and distrust ads because we have access to so much information. We think we can spot all the best deals. Yet brands can also harness this overconfidence.

 

That means retailers are beginning to create deals that look good in order to trigger impulse buys before you really have a chance to consider whether you need something. If it's a good deal, your nose for a bargain can override the fact that you don't even need what's being sold. This technique sells the idea that you're outsmarting the system.

 

A good way to avoid this is to create a budget. In the moment impulse grips you, stop. Think. Is it something you'll need and you'll use? If not, then why are you considering buying it? Modern advertising sells you on the concept that you're outsmarting the advertising itself. It doesn't sell you on the product. Avoid this by focusing on the product and whether you'll really use it.

 

Manufacturers Build Illogically: Planned Obsolescence

 

Your phone is perfectly fine. It does everything you need it to. The touchscreen still works and it's still responsive. But it's not this year's model. It doesn't have extra stickers, or emojis, or whatever new bells and whistles are being hyped this year. Even though your phone is functional, you feel like it's obsolete.

 

This is one component of what we call planned obsolescence. Businesses sell the idea that what you have isn't good enough anymore. Sometimes, they'll even be able to decrease the performance of older products remotely, as one phone company recently did. This convinces you that you need to upgrade.

 

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