Do you ever browse your credit card statements from months ago and reflect on how you got into debt in the first place? Well, if you’re like me, you did this last Friday. I do not have massive amounts of debt, but I do have the ever-revolving $1,000.00 that I owe to Barclays. Looking over my statement, I am in awe of how much I completely wasted: a seldom used gym membership, a $100 bar tab, $18 of bath salts. It all quickly adds up and the end result is always the same: continual debt.
Many of us go out shopping with a “treat yourself” mentality. If it’s the weekend, we justify frivolous purchases by telling ourselves that we worked hard all week long and because we only live once and life is short, go ahead and splurge on those $18 bath salts. They’re 100% natural and plucked right out of the Himalayas so $18 is worth it to turn your bathtub, if only momentarily, into a Nepalese lagoon, right?
I hate to burst your bubble bath but this mentality is dead wrong.
If you want to treat yourself, then the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself is not stress about your finances. Honestly, how relaxing will those bath salts be when you can’t fully unwind because you’re thinking of the interest charge it’s inevitably going to cost you.
The old adage “penny wise and pound foolish” comes to mind, which means one is good at saving and scrounging on small items, like using coupons and focusing on the smaller picture of finance, but rather inept when it comes to actually saving money and spending wisely on larger purchases. For me, it’s more like “penny foolish and not enough savings to buy a pound.”
It’s time to change that mindset from short-term to long-term goals. What in the long-term is going to justify all your hard work? Owning a house, providing better for your loved ones, saving up for a well-earned vacation? These are all things that can be achieved with the proper tools. If you have credit card debt, create a plan and become both pound and penny wise. If you’re in over your head, give us a call to see if you’re a fit for our Freedom Fresh Start Program.
Speaking of wise, I think I’ll also start going to that aforementioned gym more frequently. I still might end up spending too much at the bar, but at least I’ll look good doing it.