The Dangers of Incurring Debt to Finance a Lifestyle

By: Peter Kenny

There are messages everywhere in society telling us how we should live. It often seems like the media becomes the scapegoat for many of society's bad habits, but the fact is many people imitate what they see on television or in the movies, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. If your favorite television personality is wearing the latest pair of Manolo Blahniks or driving BMW's newest model, it can make you want these same luxuries.

The problem with imitating what we see on television and in magazines is that most consumers simply can't afford to live the same lifestyle as a television or movie star. Rather than realizing this lifestyle is currently beyond their means and working harder to afford it, the "must have it immediately" way of thinking that many people have causes them to use credit cards and personal loans to live the lifestyle they desire. This is where the trouble begins.

If you have to use credit to obtain a way of life, it follows that you will also have to use credit to maintain that lifestyle. Unless you dramatically increase your income, it is impossible to catch up on your bills while continuing to live the life of luxury. Many people build up a large amount of debt simply to buy consumable goods like clothes, food, shoes, and transportation.

Most of these things begin to depreciate immediately after they've been purchased. You wouldn't even be able to sell them to pay off the debt incurred to buy them. Worse yet, in a few years, you might not even use these items, yet you will continue to receive a monthly bill for them. Taking into consideration the interest charges, you could end up paying over a thousand dollars for an item that may have only cost a hundred dollars.

Debt keeps you from building up a personal savings. Chances are, if you're using credit to pay for your lifestyle, you aren't saving any money. What's going to happen in the case of an emergency, if you suddenly find yourself unemployed? Would you be able to continue to pay your bills as well as pay for your daily needs such as food and housing? You can't rely on your credit cards, especially if they've been maxed out on consumable items like clothes and shoes. Depending on your how much you owe, you may not be able to apply for a personal loan to help get yourself back on your feet again.

A lifestyle supported by credit and loans is not a responsible one. You can only live beyond your means for a short amount of time. Living a life that's debt-free doesn't necessarily mean you'll be free of all worries, but at least you will be free of money worries.

Debt, Loans & Business Cashflow
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