Have you ever had an excuse to justify your spending? Money excuses cause us to go overdraft in our bank accounts, fall short on our rent, and seek out payday loans to help pay the bills. Excuses are our way of making ourselves feel better when we overspend or just flat-out spend money we don’t have. Making excuses may help momentarily but in the financial long run, they will do nothing to keep our finances in order and our bills paid.
You may not realize that you are making excuses for spending money because you do it so often. Nevertheless, recognizing your “money excuses” is the first step to understanding your financial position in life and taking control of your money for a better future. Making excuses for your spending will only send you into a spiral of debt. Turning to credit cards or payday loans for help may be a sign that your excuses are getting you and your budget into trouble. Take a long hard look at what happens when you spend money and be honest with yourself about the fact that you may be making money excuses.
The first excuse is “I work hard. I deserve to spend.” This is essentially the “entitlement” excuse. Meaning, you feel you work hard and deserve to spend money. The first part of this may very well be true. You may work very hard to earn your paycheck but that doesn’t mean you can afford what you are justifying with this excuse. Even if you do have the money and can realistically afford it, does that mean you should spend the money? If you are trying to save money or are sticking to a budget, this excuse will not justify spending. This excuse of entitlement often stems from wanting to live a certain lifestyle which includes accumulating material possessions. The more you buy, the more you think you deserve. It’s a vicious cycle that can only be broken by getting over the need to keep up with the Jones’ and refrain from binge spending. Set aside a portion of your budget that allows you to “splurge”. This way you will be rewarding yourself for your hard work and won’t feel stifled by your finances.
Another money excuse is “I’ll earn more later”. While it’s great to have a goal of making more money in the future, that won’t support your desire to spend money in the present. While you may have the attitude of “carpe diem” (seize the day), your financial future will certainly be in jeopardy every time you spend money you shouldn’t. So often we tell ourselves we can catch up later but then the later catches up with us all too fast. Getting serious about your finances means developing good habits now and making decisions that will benefit you in the future. If you are constantly spending money you haven’t made yet and turning to other means of financing your purchases, like payday loans or credit cards, you are putting yourself in a position where your long-term finances are at risk. Short-term loans and credit lines should be used for emergency’s, not to support unnecessary spending.
The next money excuse to consider is “I don’t care about money”. This one seems to be all too easy in that it justifies (for many people) carrying a great deal of debt and not being accountable with finances. It’s about being lazy when it comes to working hard for a financial future and stepping up to pay off debt. The misconception that you don’t care about money will only cause you to avoid taking control of your finances and never achieve a financial goal. If you are using this excuse, you need to re-evaluate your thinking and be willing to play the money game because no one else is going to pay your bills or help you become for financially sound.
If you have to use a money excuse to justify your spending, you are in trouble. The next time you buy yourself something and catch yourself justifying the purchase with a money excuse, re-evaluate your financial priorities. If you do find yourself in a situation where you are seeking out payday loans to support your expenses, make sure you are borrowing for the right reasons and not simply to buy something you don’t need.