The mentality of overspending and how to avoid it after bankruptcy Skip to main content

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The mentality of overspending and how to avoid it after bankruptcy


Realizing we are in debt is a lot easier than figuring how it happened. Unless you can pinpoint one central reason, like the loss of a job or long-term medical issue, it can be hard to retrace your steps to financial crisis. Plus, who even wants to? The more important exercise is to figure out how to not let it happen again. And that means determining why you overspend so you can change your habits in your life after bankruptcy.

Countless consumer studies have been done about why we spend. From psychological influences to marketing, music and social pressure, there are far too many things impacting our spending decisions. But, you don't have to go that deep to keep yourself above water. All it takes is the ability to recognize a situation and take control. It's really pretty simple.

It's pretty obvious that if you have access to money, you're going to have an impulse to buy something. Why do you think credit cards are so often at the root of a family's financial problems? Credit cards grant us access to a spending club into which we would normally never have received an invite. Credit card approvals have become a standard for social acceptance and its chic to have a wallet bursting with different colors of plastic. Yet, here you are, in debt and unable to pay them back. So do you really have a lot of money?

We probably don't need to remind you, but: don't use the credit card if you don't really need to. After your first year or two out of bankruptcy, just use them for an emergency, like a roadside breakdown or major home repair.

Another reason we overspend is music. Odd, right? Well, music plays into the psychology of spending. The right song can make us feel positive, relaxed and okay about spending some money. The next time you stop into a Best Buy or appliance store, stop and listen to what's booming through the speakers. It's not as random as you may think. And, even more surprising is the fact that instrumental and classical music have been demonstrated to have more impact on impulse buys than heavy or upbeat music. And in restaurants, music is often used to make you eat faster, which leads to you leaving sooner and thus, another table gets open for another customer. And so on.

Here's one the folks at Sam's Club won't like to hear: buying in bulk can lead to overspending. Yeah, we know: "But I thought buying in bulk was a way to save money?" The facts are there, bulk shopping does indeed lower your per unit cost. So yes, you get more Twix bars per dollar in the warehouse club than you do at Food Lion. However, the mentality of bulk purchasing leads us to buy that extra box of Twix bars, which then pushes the grocery budget much higher than you planned. Sure, you have more, but now you have less. Get it? And once you're home, you have a lot of candy to eat. And that's never a good thing.

Want another hint on grocery shopping? Always do it with a list. Going to the store without knowing exactly what you need can lead to guessing, random selections and impulse buys. A list keeps you on track, providing you with a sense of purpose; in turn, allowing you to watch your items accumulate and your list grow smaller. Thus, something as simple as a trip to the store becomes an accomplishment. Just like moving on from bankruptcy.

The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt can help you get a fresh start with bankruptcy so that you can move on to a new chapter of financial responsibility.  Call +1-919-646-2654 to schedule your FREE consultation now.

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