Saturday, March 3, 2012
The Money Fantasy
In these tough times, we need to realize the difference between the American dream and the harsh reality. With people sinking into debt, losing their jobs, their homes and their lifestyle, the reality is setting in. The real problem is not with the economy or with the changing times. The problem is that we are a society of compulsive spenders.
Every day we are exposed to television programs and magazine articles showing us how successful people live. Magnificent homes, flashy cars and wardrobes bigger than some homes packed full of designer clothing are portrayed as the measure of success. We not only admire them, we strive to be like them.
We forget that these images are fantasies, created to show us a fantasy world. We cannot all achieve that sort of wealth, and shouldn't really need to. That doesn't stop us from wanting these things and the sponsors know it. So television commercials and print advertisements push the products even further.
There was a time when people would have to wait until the next day when the stores opened to make the purchase. Although annoying, it was actually a good thing, because it forced us to wait to make the purchase. There was also time to decide not to make the purchase. Online shopping means you can buy the products you see advertised immediately, without considering whether you really need them.
Keep Your Money For What You Need
Before you buy something, consider whether you really need it. Are you buying it to make you feel better about a problem you are having? Spending money will not solve your problems, particularly if they are related to financial issues. Think about all the purchases you have made that are gathering dust. They did not solve your problems, and a new pair of shoes will not change your life. Money is a vital resource to keeping a roof over your head and food in your stomach. These are your living expenses and they include your rent or mortgage, utility bills, and taxes. Paying them keeps you secure.
No matter how much money you spend, no purchase will make that feeling go away. This is especially true if the tension is due to debt or other financial issues. A new pair of shoes will never turn you into the person on the television screen. Yes, they may look good. But if you are honest, you probably have several similar pairs in your closet collecting dust. We all need money for shelter and food, to pay our daily living expenses ike rent, fuel and utilities. Being able to pay these bills gives us security.
Spending money on things you cannot afford, no matter how nice they look, will not ease the stress of debt or financial burdens.
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