There is so much pressure out there to fit in. This is something that even little kids experience as they are shown at a young age that being part of the crowd is what counts. You can see children all the time being peer pressured from their friends to do things. Sometimes the results can even be disastrous like when accidents happen. The same patterns can erupt when you are older too and can also affect your finances.
There are millions of different people out there and millions of different personalities. Some people are naturally good with money and some make it disappear faster than water through a paper funnel. I have known both types of people. The spendthrift people tend to be a lot of fun but it is fun that lasts only as long as there is money. There is nothing wrong with this especially if you are young. The problem comes when you are a little older and have bills and other responsibilities to mind.
In college, I had friends that would spend cash as quickly as they received it. These people had literally the nicest brands of clothes with the most sophisticated pairs of shoes that you could imagine. Eating out every night was not unheard of since most of this was being funded by student loans and college donations from family members. Inevitably, I began to feel insecure about my own situation as I did not have these fancy things. Of course, it motivated me to spend but with credit cards as I was still a poor college student. It wasn’t long before I had thousands of dollars in debt from trying to be like these girls who were trying to be like the unrealistic celebrities on magazines. It was a recipe for disaster for sure.
I finally got a clue and realized that my crazy spending was only going to end to my ruin. I also stopped my association with people who were more obsessed with spending than anything else. I started myself on a frugal budget and made a plan to end my credit card debt. I tried to hang out with people that were more interested in saving cash rather than blowing it. It has still been a learning experience for me, but it has been one of the best things for my life. I was also lucky to have found an online community that actually valued money and took steps to secure the future. What a concept!
I have to say I learned this lesson the hard way, but it all worked out in the end. It was actually a vital lesson for me to learn. I finally saw that I was causing some major financial damage. and I was able to get out. Others are not so lucky. Making sure you keep good company when paying down debt is almost as important as paying down the debt itself. Having people who support you as you tackle a mountain of debt is one of the best ways to get through it. Be close to those who support you and you will be richer in more than just cash and things.- Natalie Alex