What is wrong with me? I do the same stupid thing over and over!
Under an (embarrassed) alter...
I was raised by parents who bought everything with cash or paid off the credit card the same month. They worked hard for what they had, and took good care of the stuff so it would last. There is no REASON for me to be such a flippin' moron with money and with stuff. I have no respect for myself and am in fact amazed and appalled.
I'm WELL into middle age now and it's always been the same way. Get my self in a lot of debt. Get out of it somehow. Do it all over again. Get out of it somehow. Swear it will never happen again. Do it all over again. I am so sick of it.
I really think I have a character flaw or something. I can always convince myself that I have to have something. Nothing extravagant usually, just always living above my means. And as my means got bigger so did my "wants". Then my means started floundering a bit -- nothing serious, just a period of unemployment and a job that doesn't pay as well as the prior one. So the things that I am messing with are more serious (IRS and retirement savings). So now I'm in a spot where I don't know what is going to bail me out. I tend to think something will, because something always does, but I hate living on the edge and IT'S AN EDGE I PUT MYSELF ON. I am my own worst enemy.
I know all the things I should do like cutting up credit cards (can't do that right now -- I'm living on them!). Not that I wouldn't read advice and maybe find something new or meaningful. What I really want to know is WHY. How did I end up like this? Why am I such a moron?
Why do you keep doing it? The rush and happy feelings you get when you buy something you just 'have to' buy.
I think the solution is pretty simple (create a budget and stick to it) its just wicked hard to do. Good luck!
Find an accountability partner. Close friend, relative, someone. Make sure they understand that sometimes you're going to need them to talk you down, and have them on speed dial. It also needs to be someone who isn't going to wait for you to call them once a week....someone you see/talk to regularly...and isn't afraid to (metaphorically) slap you upside the head.
And, Dave Ramsey.
To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.
I just heard an interesting series that recommended the use of guard rails. Getting out the credit card is already going over the cliff, so to speak, so what can you do that is *before* you get out that credit card, to help to change your behavior?
For instance, do these wants come from watching tv commercials? Turn 'em off. Do they come from hanging out with people who have more? Hang out with people who have less.
Only you can find out what those triggers are, but setting those guardrails can help.
I love the commercial from a few years ago where the woman is frantically trying to chop apart the block of ice around her credit card to by something off of the shopping network before the time expired. She had frozen her CC so she could not easily succumb to the temptation to buy things she didn't need as she was saving for a house.
I also am pretty bad with money. I carry virtually no credit cards and only carry my debit card and my corporate AMEX. I figure if I really need something that bad I can go home, get the appropriate credit card and go back to the store for it. I rarely want it that badly.
I also do not carry a checkbook.
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
If you do the thing you've always done, you're going to get what you've always gotten. So do something ELSE.
You don't need a buddy or a TV crutch. You need some SELF-DISCIPLINE. This is of course difficult in an instant-gratification culture that encourages everyone's self-indulgence all the time. Those of us who grew up since the 60's have never known anything else.
It's surprising how much money you really have when you set your mind to frugality.
Clarify the difference between "I want" and "I need" and put yourself on a budget that does not include using credit cards for "wants."