It’s no secret that sticking to a budget is hard work. Just like eating healthy and exercising properly, getting to work on time, keeping daily focus, and all the other things that require discipline, there are distractions around every corner. And while the greatest motivation is often in having a goal to work toward (a new home purchase, vacation, or ultimately, retirement), it’s all too easy to get carried away spending.
Going out for dinner after a hard day at the office is certainly a common temptation for most of us. There’s nothing better than kicking back in comfortable surroundings while everyone else does the work and waits on you hand and foot. We all need this respite sometimes, but that $50-$100 or more that you spent during an hour or two eating out could of course be going toward paying off a credit card or being put directly into a savings account. That’s no surprise, of course, and we all know what happens with all work and no play…but when this type of spending becomes a trend, you have fallen prey to the all-too-tempting pitfalls of ‘pleasure spending.’
Outlined in a recent USA Today article, pleasure spending runs rampant because so many in the US have failed to be educated on the true satisfaction to be found in buying non-essentials only after we’ve taken care of all our required business elsewhere.
“Previously, if I had $10 to spend, I’d spend $9.50 and hope I could rub the last 50 cents together to put into savings,” states author Peter Dunn in regards to unhealthy spending. “That rarely, if ever, worked. Now if I have $10, I fund my real goals first, which might take me down to $7, but then I spend that $7 without guilt or reservation.”
Call it what you want. Retail therapy. A well-deserved break. Pleasure spending. Most of us work very hard and should be able to devote a small portion of our income to making all the trouble and toil worth it. If you can balance that with a modicum of discipline, accompanied by saving and investing, you are on the right track; however, if debts are getting out of control, it’s time to rein spending habits in and take back control. Dial it back and remember how many things in life can make you happy—without spending a dime. From spending an afternoon at your favorite library to taking a walk in the woods, the list of ways to enjoy yourself for free, or at minimal expense, is endless.
With total consumer debt hovering at $12.58 trillion in the US today, business first and pleasure later is a concept many would benefit from practicing, hard as it may be to do in many cases. As the cost of living rises, however, with the average income not keeping pace, debt is often not incurred by pleasurable or luxurious spending but rather by a need to survive in the short term.
If you are concerned about debt collectors, credit card lawsuits, impending bankruptcy, or other related topics, contact Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. Our experienced attorneys can go over your questions and then discuss options. We are here to help! Call us today for a free consultation at (844) 431-3851, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.