Money has always had an impact on our social standing. Think of the class system which used to be tradition years back; people segregated into different levels by wealth. You may believe that we’ve broken that system, but that may not be true. Many people still feel a need to spend money to feel ‘better’ than each other, whether they admit or not.
This ongoing game of “keeping up with the Joneses” has put thousands, possibly millions, of people in financial trouble. Why do we keep spending too much money, more money than we have, to impress other people?
Our brains are wired to help us survive. Over the millennia, we have evolved to let instinct keep us alive. Part of that instinct is what drives our spending. Many experts believe that we feel the need to spend money to “keep up with the Joneses” is like a modern equivalent of “keeping up with the herd.” Our instinct makes us feel like we’ll be left behind if we don’t keep spending, even if we spend too much money.
We have developed a more intelligent mind between our cave-dwelling days and now, but that rational mind is easily overpowered by instinct. No matter how much we tell ourselves that we don’t need to spend the money, we may be taken over by uncontrollable instinct.
What Can We Do to Change?
I know I just told you that you have powerful instincts capable of overriding anything your rational brain has to say, but there is hope. You have to break the cycle. It’s true that your instincts are strong, but it is possible to learn from your mistakes.
Start small by looking at your recurring expenses and picking one little thing that you don’t need. Maybe after cutting one small thing, you can cut out another, and then another. One step at a time is the only way you can change spending habits.
The Lewisville bankruptcy attorneys at Julian, Crowder & Shuster know what it’s like to feel like you’re being crushed by debt. They have helped countless people find a fresh start after conquering financial trouble.