No one likes to fail, especially at something as important as personal finances. The pain of financial stress and the shame and fear that accompany it are difficult to bare. Yet, it’s unreasonable to think you can achieve financial success without experiencing some failures along the way. Some degree of failure or setbacks, as much as we wish they weren’t, are inevitable. What determines your future success is what you do after you fail.
It’s well known that most people determine self-worth and personal value, at least in part, by comparing themselves to those in their social circle. In psychology, this is known as social comparison theory, and with the ever-increasing use of social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, social comparison is having a greater effect on us and on how we spend our money.
Talking about money is considered taboo by a majority of Americans. We’re more open to talking about sex, politics, or religion than we are to discussing personal money matters. Unfortunately, not talking about it keeps many Americans financially illiterate and ignorant of what it takes to become financially healthy.
When we hear the word addiction, whether it’s in a conversation or in a story on the news, we think of drugs, alcohol, gambling, or some other vice that “other” people in our world battle. We rarely think of addiction as something we personally deal with. I believe every person engages in some type of addictive behavior, often several, and the financial impact these can have are significant.
The percentage of people using credit cards as the sole method of payment has increased dramatically in recent years. More than 50% of credit card holders are now using their credit cards for everyday purchases. No doubt the lure of the rewards programs offered by most credit cards today has a lot to do with this trend. What’s yet unknown but predictable is the harm this will have on the financial health of many of these people.