The messages are all around us. “Buy Now, Pay Later!”, “90 Days Same As Cash!”, “You’re always going to have a car payment!”, and others. That last one was your broke family member in case you didn’t notice (though I’m sure you’ve heard it). The little man just can’t get ahead!
We are living in a culture that inundates us with the need for stuff and the belief that if we actually want to get the stuff we really do need then the best way to do so is with “easy” payments. Heck, you can even rent a LAMP for only $6.99/week or $30/mth! Just go buy the stupid thing!
Pay the Piper
Ultimately, you’re going to have pay for all that stuff, and it isn’t going to be pretty. A lot of us have gotten sucked into this payment mentality and have, even for the daily consumables that you could easily pay for, simply put it on credit to make those oh so “easy” payments. One thing I see often is that the average person is not paying full attention to their finances with a solid plan and only thinks in chunks about their finances.
I make how much? Chunk
My house payment is what? Chunk
My car payment is what? Chunk
My kids’ soccer program is how much? Chunk
It’s going to cost how much to fly there? Oh, yeah, I can manage that!
Eventually everything falls apart because they aren’t paying attention to where the majority of their spending goes: The little things. They don’t think about that purchase at Fivebucks they make every day which adds up to $150/mth, etc. The point here is payments deceive you into thinking you are paying attention and staying on top of your finances when you really aren’t.
Stop Feeding the Machine
Have you ever wondered why payments are offered? You may think that it’s to make something affordable for someone who can’t afford to pay for it all up front. If you think this, legitimate as it may seem, it proves you’ve bought into the lie of the payment mentality.