I was talking to my roomie about how people go broke for Spring Break, going places and doing things they can’t afford, and it has me thinking about how people go out of their way to buy/do/get things they don’t have any business buying/doing/getting. If you’re a broke college student (or a broke college grad, or a broke middle-aged person…..), then why on earth would you spend all your residual check/income tax/birthday or Christmas money on clothes, shoes, and stuff you don’t need? Some people genuinely NEED clothes and shoes because theirs are falling apart, but not that many of us fall into that category.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done the same thing. One year, I went to Florida with nothing but some clothes, a credit card, and a dream. I knew good and well that I was broke and could only afford to go on Spring Break because someone was stupid enough to give a broke college student a credit card. Somehow, I convinced myself that I deserved a break (which I’m sure I did), and I needed to experience a “real” Spring Break, so I maxed out my card for the sake of having a good time. I should have convinced myself that I didn’t wanna spend the next 6-8 months (ok, longer than that…) paying off that Spring Break trip. Yeah, that trip was fun, but was it really worth all the headaches the credit card bills caused later on?
The same thing goes for Polo, J’s (yea, I said it!), cars, phones, iPads, tattoos… the list could go on. Sometimes I look at what some people have/wear/do and wonder how they can afford it, but then I remember how the average American owes more than he/she makes, and I realize that what you see isn’t what you get when it comes to money. We spend so much time trying to make ourselves look richer than we are while the people that are actually rich just sit back and think of more ways to convince us that we NEED the newest clothes, shoes, and electronics so that we can be happy. Or at least happy until the next version comes out in 3 months.
Why do we see living within our means as a bad thing? When did obtaining debt in order to create an image become okay? It’s not healthy to constantly compare yourself to other people and aspire to have things others have. You never know how they got those things. Maybe a parent died and left that person a lot of money. Or maybe they had to endure basic training, being moved to three different bases, and being shipped off to Afghanistan just to get enough money to afford that nice car. I’ll take my average things that I can afford over those situations (and others) any day, especially since I FINALLY just paid off my credit card debt. 🙂