It is rarely the lack of knowledge that is the cause of our bad habits. Most people already know how to go about losing weight, instead it is our behaviors that prevent us from reaching our goals. Most people also know that we should save on pension, compare interest and amortize – despite the fact that many people have no idea what interest they actually pay to the bank. We all know that we “should” save money, but despite this, every sixth Swede cannot meet an unforeseen expense of USD 8,000 according to the Heart and Lung Fund. How come we spend money even though we know we should save? It became a matter for Sparthapaper Karin Nordlander to address, and according to her, there are five common reasons why we make unwise decisions about money. Below, we list the five most common causes of money woes, and how to manage them!
The most common reason we spend unnecessarily a lot of money is because we can’t think.
We want quick fixes and shopping gives us short-term kicks that make us feel good. It may also be that we pay extra money for services or products, because we do not have the opportunity to investigate if there is any better alternative. It is often we think so it will be a lot of money in the end. Take a deep breath first! In fact, if you are stressed, you have to start by taking hold of it, no matter how difficult the financial situation is. Prolonged stress is very detrimental to our health. There are various simple exercises you can do to reduce your stress level, including mental training. Work long term to reduce stress and remove the number of “musts” in your everyday life. Learn to distinguish between your actual needs and your perceived needs – for example, do you really need a new TV? “I must” is a statement that is very rarely true.
Often we feel sorry for ourselves for various reasons.
It is a pity for us because we cannot afford to go on vacation, it is a pity for us that we cannot buy a holiday home, it is a pity for us because we do not feel comfortable at work and it is a pity for us to the car is broken. Then we often compensate it by treating ourselves with different things.
This is about changing your way of thinking. We all need to prioritize and we all go through both good and bad times here in life. If you change your way of thinking and try to look positively on your existence, your adversities increase both the well-being and the need for consolation.
We humans are social beings and often compare to others.
The problem is that we often lump together what everyone else bought and made into a single superhuman, and then we get the idea that everyone else can afford everything – even though it is not.
Start by realizing that everyone else can’t actually afford everything, and that everyone else also needs to prioritize based on their own assets. In addition, over half of all Swedes have had some type of consumer loan at some time. So most people cannot afford everything, but many borrow to maintain social status. We will instead live with boring installments for a long time to come. Think about what makes you happy and prioritize it. Don’t buy something you don’t actually need and that won’t make you happier.
Another common reason for us making unwise decisions about money is that the ostriches in us do not want to see the situation as it is. We flee from finding out what the economy really looks like, as we are often afraid that it will be much worse than we want to know.
It is very common for us to put our heads in the sand instead of addressing the situation.
The problem, however, does not disappear, but it will constantly gnaw on our conscience. Therefore, we feel better if we actually address the situation. No matter what the economy actually looks like, we have everything to gain from finding out what it actually is – if the economy is good we can stop worrying, and if the economy is bad we can do something about it. Decide a date when you will go through all your personal finances and make sure you have all the papers you need until then. Plan a reward when you have actually gone through your finances.
It is incredibly common for us to act on impulse, and often we are afraid of what we will lose if we do not strike. When the buying impulse strikes, we often let go of other rational thoughts and think “it will solve”. The easiest way to avoid impulses is to stay away from the stores. Do you feel you are attracted to spending your money even though you shouldn’t? Get out of the store! Do you feel that you just have to buy something? Decide to go back the next day and buy the thing instead. Then you will make a more rational decision. Do you feel that you just have to go shopping? Set a maximum ceiling in advance for how much you can spend!