Voluntarily broke people keep an arsenal of clever excuses handy to justify dumb financial moves.
Instead of practicing self-denial and amassing wealth, they rationalize themselves into a web of maxed out credit cards, overdrawn checking accounts, and underfunded retirement assets. Apparently, it’s easier to pacify the conscience with “logic” than to embrace the reality that their choices retard long-term financial success.
Throughout my life, I’ve heard countless reasons—some more creative and ridiculous than others—for overspending.
“I only buy groceries from Whole Foods.”
Whole Foods is a swanky supermarket that specializes in the sell of organic products. I’m not gonna lie; occasionally, I shop at Whole Foods. What can I say? It’s kind of awesome.
As you already know, hormone/pesticide-free food carries a steep premium. Yes, some organic produce and animal flesh are healthier than their chemically showered, antibiotic injected counterparts. But let’s get real, you’re not racking up the wellness points with organic cookies, cupcakes, and other refined carbs.
If you adhere to an exemplary diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean protein, I understand why you shun high-calorie, pre-fried pasta. If you experience adverse physical reactions from monosodium glutamate (MSG), perhaps you should avoid the super cheap Japanese dish. If you simply don’t like the taste or texture of ramen, I support your decision to not eat it.
BUT, if you frequently chow down on expensive, cholesterol raising, artery clogging cuisine, I don’t comprehend your beef with ramen.
“I don’t have time.”
Penniless people sure are busy. It seems they struggle to find time to carry out, uncomplicated DIY projects and opt to pay professionals to perform simple jobs.
Leave dangerous and/or complex tasks to the experts. However, a quick Google/Pinterest/YouTube search will reveal a medley of how-to tricks for basic services you frequently outsource to others.
“It’s an investment.”
Is it really?
Investments, generally, work to increase your wealth now or in the future. If a purchase doesn’t do that, then it’s either a bad investment or not an investment at all. Real estate, equities, bonds, precious metals, and even education are investments.
I’d go so far as to say that programmable thermostats and low flow shower heads fall under the investment category since they save you money on basic necessities.
But rarely can one make a compelling case that designer duds, high-end furniture, or luxury vehicles qualify as financial wealth boosters.
“I work hard. I deserve a treat.”
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy berating lazy Americans as much as the next girl, but for the most part, we’re a hard working bunch. In the United States, paid vacation and maternity leave is among the least generous of the industrialized nations.
Sadly, we wear skipped time off and 24/7 accessibility like it’s a badge of honor.
I’m not trivializing the value of hard work. But you have to wonder, maybe you wouldn’t have to work so hard if you felt you deserved less.
What common reasons have you heard (or do you use) to rationalize overspending?
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