Monday, April 14, 2008

Debt Mind Trap #5: You think shopping is a hobby.

Friend A: What do you want to do today?

Friend B: I don’t know. What do you want to do?

Friend A: Hmmm…I don’t know. We could go to the mall?

Friend B: I guess. There’s nothing else to do.

Ok, so Friend A and Friend B might be kind of boring people, but I’m sure this sounds vaguely familiar. You don’t know what else to do, so you just go shopping. There are countless “entertainment centers” with little else to do but shop and eat. You walk around. Browse the shops. Buy an overpriced pretzel, coffee, or cheese-thing-on-a-stick. It’s all very uninspiring, but it passes the time.

Even if you don’t buy something, it’s still a dangerous habit. Just by sheer proximity you are increasing your chances of spending money on something you don’t need. You may be able to escape without buying something the first time, but window shopping plants little seeds of discontent. Even I find things that I didn’t know I needed until I saw them at the store. Yes, I neeeeeed that fancy garden tool. I didn’t know it existed before now, but I NEED it. J

There are tons of other things to do if you just do a little research. I love Yelp to find free events and festivals nearby. Make a list of all the things you’ve ever wanted to do and when you get stuck you can just refer to your list for inspiration. The world is a big place, full of possibilities. Don’t waste your life in a mall!

So there you have it - the 5 Debt Mind Traps to avoid. If you can recognize these thought patterns before you swipe the credit card, you're ahead of the game. Stop and acknowledge your thoughts for what they are - a road block on your path to financial freedom. Then you will feel more empowered to make better decisions and stop the cycle of credit card debt.

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budgets are sexy said...

Hey, did you just interview me or something? i am like that 100%! haha...

I have been good the past cple months, aka spent under $5.00 a weekend, up until this one... all those "i needs" came into play and i plopped down $100+. oops.

I'll agree that you have some pretty good points here, but it's way too entertaining for me to quit ;)

Anonymous said...

This is soo me as well. Especially if you are single, during the day you can think that the mall is kind of a safe haven. I ma trying to get out of that thinking!

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