Dangerous Deep Debt Rationalizations All Generations Fall For
When you've found yourself in deep debt, the kind that can physically make you ill when you think about your income versus your spending habits, it's easy to cajole yourself into a state of submission.
By actively ignoring the issue (too much outflow for too little income) and passively addressing the root problems (living above your means), you can lollygag through life in a state of "ignorant" bliss.
However, the apathetic manner in which you handle your situation does not make it any less dire.
Whether you face debt head on, locked, loaded and ready to buckle down and face the enemy or pay it no attention does not change the crux of the situation: Debt is debilitating. While actively avoiding debt, you only superficially shield yourself from the implications of money mismanagement. The delusions intensify the longer debt and your role in its existence stay shrouded.
There are plenty of reasons people find themselves discounting the gravity of deep debt, but recognizing that it's happening isn't as easy. Below are four common habits/rationalizations the passively and deeply indebted may find themselves repeating. If you recognize these symptoms, you're past due for a reality check and budget rehabilitation.
Forcefully Keeping Up With The Joneses
In this situation, people live in a constant state of comparison, always assessing their worth and value to what others have already achieved. The non sequitur here is that physical things demonstrate to outsiders' intangible success; however, if the physical things are obtained without being earned, the deception exceeds far beyond what the neighbors might think into convincing yourself you do deserve to achieve everything other people your age appear to have achieved.
In this age of selfies and instant social media gratification, it's important to remember that self-absorbed comparison to others is nothing more than a thief — a thief of your time, energy and resources. In order for comparisons to not steal your future, you must guard your judgements and focus solely on what's ahead.
When it comes to digging yourself out of debt, playing the comparison game only convolutes your situation. By putting your issues within the context of what others let you see, you discourage yourself by either giving yourself too much credit for too little accomplished or let yourself feel hopeless and unable to achieve on par with others. Both potential outcomes are insatiably dangerous as they lull you into debt inaction.
Remember: It's quite probable that the Joneses are playing the same game.
Indulging In Self-Gratification, Atta Boys
If you find excuses and then in turn indulge yourself in praises for a little action in the right direction, you're not doing yourself or your budget any favors.
Just as a single workout at the beginning of the week is not enough to kick start a healthy exercise regime, congratulating yourself for the smallest of achievements (while they are commendable) with little gifts or "free passes" for the future is counteractive.
Remember: The ability to delay pleasure is a sign of maturity.
Not Going All In
Unless achieving half of your goal is acceptable to you, don't give half the effort.
From pleading ignorance to making excuses to simply mollycoddling in complacency, by not pushing yourself to be more, to be a better version of yourself, you are doing your future self a disservice.
Haphazardly and half-heartedly dedicating yourself to any goal is highly unlikely to reap the rewards you envision. For every step forward, there is an equal pressure from your past trying to persuade you that change, especially such significant and drastic change, is simply not worth it. Those voices can be the biggest downfall to those who admit they have a money problem.
Remember: Don't feed the voices of doubt, complacency or false contentment.
Convincing Yourself Staying In Debt Is Selfless, Getting Out Is Selfish
By living on a shoestring budget, you must be completely self-absorbed, but it is a selfless self-absorption. This is something that can lead to much false rationalizations as the individual convinces themselves that they simply cannot change their ways because too many other people are relying on their above-their-means lifestyle.
From children who may ask too many questions when they are packed off-brand snacks— nosey neighbors who will inevitably ask why book club meetings held at the hottest new latte palace always see you without a fresh cup— disappointed spouses who will be unable to accept not getting the large popcorn and drink at the midnight movie showing…it's so easy to convince yourself that if you were to start living within your means, your social and home life would stop functioning.
Remember: Getting your family out of debt is the least selfish thing the deeply indebted can do. It's not about the present; it's all about the future. Focus on the implications of every action and live a life of purpose.
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