Can't pay for something you want?
Stick it on a credit card.
Need the latest trainers?
Use the finance option that is offered.
Want to have the car washed and vacuumed while you go and look around the shops?
Stick it on your bank card and use your overdraft.
It is so easy to use invisible money. When you can't actually see the money...placing it on a card - internet purchases, electronic banking, easy credit. It can be a very easy way to overspend and get into debt.
Society pushes people to spend out of control:
Take out food, drive-in food outlets, restaurants, cars, cafes, coffee shops, Deliveroo...
Clothes and shoes with logos, the newest, the latest.
Technology...the latest model of phone, of computer, of TV.
Advertisement, PR, celebrity endorsements.
Then what happens when there is a genuine need:
The fridge needs a repair. The car needs tyres. The kids need new school shoes. You need fuel to get to work. The childminder fees need to be paid. Your mum is sick and you need to go and help her. The cat needs to see a vet. You break a tooth and have to visit the dentist.
A healthy attitude to money is treating it as a finite amount.
There is one in and one out direction in your bank account.
Needs have to come before wants.
Debt can build up so very quickly.
So how do you get out of it?
Write down every.single.thing you spend, no matter how small.
List your absolutely necessary expenditure - rent/mortgage, food, utilities, council tax.
Rethink your expenses. Do you have to eat out every week? Can you make it fortnightly or every three weeks? What about your possessions? Do you need three TVs in your house? Do you have old phone handsets you don't use anymore? Sell what you don't need. Put the money into an emergency fund.
Say no to some things or find different ways to access them.
Stop impulse buying. Going to walk around shops isn't a hobby. Is it a bargain if you don't actually need it? How many do you already have?
Does shopping make you feel better? Try other things that don't cost you money. Sort out your kitchen cupboards. Plan some meals with what you already have.
If you do use a credit card, aim to pay off what you spend every month. This is achievable right now - and if it isn't, don't spend on it until you have paid the balance off in full. A good idea is to keep a credit card for emergencies until you have a cash emergency fund.
Yes, it might take you months to pay off your debts and build up a fund to get you straight - but liken it to getting over an illness or recovering from an operation. It takes time, the same way it took time to build it up.