OK, so this is going to sound hypocritical, but it’s the truth nonetheless: The internet can create problems. Yes, we know you turned to the internet for the advice we’re about to share below and we’re not saying it’s completely bad. The internet can be a wonderful source of personal finance advice.
But the internet has also made buying things more convenient too. You can now just touch an icon and your purchase is made.
Here’s the thing, though: If you feel a heightened sense of anticipation while shopping and/or you get a rush of gratification after you’ve clicked, that’s one of the signs you may have a spending problem — and the internet also makes it all too easy to indulge.
The good news is the solution is here on the internet, too. Let’s take a look at some of the other indications.
Buying “Feels Good”
We are gatherers by nature. One of the reasons our species has survived and thrived is our ability to look ahead, anticipate needs and prepare for them in advance. We also get a feeling of well being from doing this.
Managed carefully, absolutely everything is right about that.
However, pursuing that feeling for its own sake can lead to accumulating far more than your needs. If you’re buying things just to get that sensation — and using credit cards to facilitate doing so — you’re going to find yourself severely indebted in fairly short order.
Forgetting You Already Have Something
If you’ve ever bought something, only to later realize you already had it, you’re probably nurturing a spending problem. We lose track of our possessions only when we have far more than we need. If you have dedicated an extra room in your home to purchases a la The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but don’t have a TV budget to support it, you likely have a spending problem.
You’re Not Saving
Ironically, that urge to gather can overwhelm our urge to save — even though they’re ultimately the same thing. The problem lies in the seeking of instant gratification. Buying feels good right now. However, for many people, saving only feels good if something bad happens. Thing is, something bad always happens.
If we were supposed to learn anything from the fairy tales with which we grew up as children, it’s that pipers do eventually demand to be paid. Spending your entire income every pay period is inviting financial disaster to come in, sit down, look around and take everything you’ve ever earned.
If you’ve lost sight of that, you have a spending problem.
Late Payments Have Become “Normal”
According to a report released by the Urban Institute, five percent of Americans with a credit history are running at least 30 days late on their credit payments.
If you’re among them and your urge to buy is continuing unabated, you have a spending problem. It’s probably time to seek professional advice from a credit counselor or even look into debt settlement through a program like Freedom Debt Relief.
Credit Cards Are Maxed
You’re Borrowing to Spend
Whether it’s begging a loan from family and friends, or taking out payday loans, the bottom line is you’re spending money before you get it. Moreover, if you’re doing this to buy things you want, as opposed to items you really need – yes — you definitely have a spending problem. And it’s important to start changing these habits as soon as possible.
These six signs you may have a spending problem are among the most common tells. If you’ve seen yourself in here anywhere, it’s time to avail yourself of professional help in the form of credit counseling, debt management or debt relief.