So many people today have different priorities than they did a couple of generations ago. In the old days, when you had bills to pay, those were your first priority. You saved up for your vacations; they were separate and they didn’t come out of your regular paycheck. Nowadays, I’m seeing so many people who, when they see their bills piling up and they don’t have the money to pay them, they just close their eyes and ignore them,
I once heard a man say that although he and his wife were having enormous money problems he planned on using his tax refund to take his family on a vacation.
When I asked him why he didn’t use the money to pay down some of his debts he told me that bills will always be part of his life but it was more important for their family to remember having some fun times together.
I wish I could say that I only know one person who, whenever her debts are insurmountable, she goes shopping. But, the truth is that I know many people who fall into this category.
It’s as if they receive a subliminal message that tells them to rush out and buy a lot of things that they don’t need and can never repay. The sad part is that when they get their merchandise home, most of them don’t even get excited about the things they bought.
For many others it’s an addiction and it has the same draw as narcotics. It’s more than money burning a hole in their pocket. They can’t seem to help themselves; there is a compulsion to spend, spend, spend. It’s the ultimate shopaholic.
Many of these shopaholics have brand new clothing in their closets with the price tags still hanging from them. For them, it’s not about owning the clothing and planning on wearing them; it’s about the need to spend money. On anything.
Then there are the people who close their eyes to the bills and go out and party so they don’t get depressed. It’s almost as if they are expecting someone to sprinkle fairy dust over them and, in a magical moment, all their bills will be paid while they’re out partying.
Maybe some of this lack of accountability springs from the uncertain times we’re all facing with a collapsing economy, a shortage of jobs, and a world gone crazy. And maybe it’s just a case of more people having entitlement issues than ever before.
Connie H. Deutsch is an internationally known business consultant and personal advisor who has a keen understanding of human nature and is a natural problem-solver.