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7 Excuses Most People Use To Avoid Financial Responsibility

7 Excuses Most People Use To Avoid Financial Responsibility

We would all love to be millionaires. But let’s face it, most people never make it that far. Most of us stall somewhere around the middle class. And that’s not too bad considering the fact that half of the world’s population lives in poverty. Our culture values money and possessions — almost to the extreme. This fosters a ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ (or Kardashians) kind of mentality. People want to be rich — or at least look like they are rich. Because of this, many people make irresponsible choices when it comes to their finances, and many of them make excuses for it. Here are seven of them:

1. I always scream, “YOLO!!!!” (You Only Live Once).

I’m not sure if most adults have heard this ‘Yolo’ term, but it’s one that kids tend to be using these days: “You only live once!” And that is true (unless you believe in reincarnation). But while that term implies living life to the fullest and embracing the moment, that way of thinking can get you into trouble of you don’t think about the consequences of your actions. If you rack up a pile of debt so big that you will have to spend the next 10 lifetimes paying it back, well, maybe you shouldn’t ‘live in the moment’ quite so much.

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2. I need to impress everyone.

This is deadly. As I said in the opening paragraph, many people do have this need. However, what is the point? Just because you don’t live in a huge house or drive a fancy car doesn’t mean that you aren’t successful. In fact, I bet most of the people who do own all the ‘rich-looking’ stuff are really drowning in debt. Wouldn’t it be better to live in a modest house and drive an average car knowing that you can sleep at night because you are not drowning in debt? I think that sounds like a better option.

3. I don’t think money is important.

If you’re thinking, “Money isn’t everything!” then you are probably being financially irresponsible. Of course money is important! But if you think that it isn’t, then you have an attitude of carelessness. If you don’t think money is important, then you won’t pay attention to how or where you spend it. And this lack of attention will get you into trouble.

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4. I can just live off of credit cards.

You do realize that at some point you will have to pay that money back, right? And you will probably have such a huge balance that you will never pay it off. So then you might think, “Well then I can just declare bankruptcy. No big deal.” Well, guess what? Not only does bankruptcy ruin your credit for a very long time, the debt just doesn’t magically disappear. Someone pays for it. And who is that? The rest of us. The companies you don’t pay will have to raise their prices to make up for the loss — higher prices that we all have to pay. Or maybe taxpayer money will go into paying off your debt. However it works, it all comes down to one thing: not taking personal responsibility.

5. I’m already in a ton of debt, so what’s a little more?

That attitude is what got you into the mountain of debt in the first place. Little by little, one small purchase after another adds up to one big mess. It’s kind of like eating a whole birthday cake in one day, bite by bite. Each bite seems harmless. But as you slowly eat your way through the whole cake, suddenly you ate just that — a whole cake. Remember that each step along the way stacks on top of the last and eventually they add up.

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6. I can’t invest my money — I might lose it because it’s too risky.

True, any investment is risky. However, if you are investing for retirement or for your children’s college tuition, then that is a very good reason to take the plunge. As the saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!” So if you are avoiding a strategy that could grow your money into a nest egg in the future, then maybe you should rethink your actions.

7. I like to buy things on credit because I can take a long time to pay them off.

This is like the ‘lay away’ mentality, but you actually get to enjoy the thing you bought. Yes, a house usually takes 30 years for most people to pay off. Cars take around five years. Those are normal purchases that we expect to have to pay over time. However, those are necessities. Some things you buy probably aren’t. If you find yourself thinking, “Hey, it might cost $5,000, but the payment plan says I only have to pay $20 a month…so apparently I can afford it!” Well, maybe you really can’t.

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Financial responsibility is really the same as personal responsibility. You just need to be self-aware enough to know that your actions have consequences, not only for yourself, but for other people as well.

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is a communication professor, dating/relationship and success coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

What Is a Relationship Timeline and Should You Follow It? Dealing With Anxious Attachment: Advice from a Relationship Therapist Practical Advice for Overcoming Problems in INFP Relationships Learn the Different Types of Love (and Better Understand Your Partner) How to Become a Motivational Speaker and Influence Millions of People

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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