This is Why You Keep Reading Financial Advice Without Putting It Into Practice

There’s no real reason why you should

It’s been the biggest mystery to me, why I simply cannot defeat one of my oldest enemies: Money.

We’ve always had this kind of love-hate relationship. Or to be honest, it might be more of a toxic relationship. Neither of us really wanted it to end, but it was draining and pulling us apart. Again and again.

The biggest problem, I was so painfully aware of my own ignorance, it’s almost funny how I keep making the same money mistakes over and over and over again.

There is a loan for everything, though. And the best part: You don’t even have to think about that money.

But I know many people have a similar problem. And all these financial tips, specifically tailored to young people in debt, would not exist if there wasn’t this pattern of people all over the world making these mistakes again and again.

So, here are a few reasons why you might keep reading these articles that make you feel like you can defeat the world, only to find yourself in the same place all over again, months later.

1. They make it too easy

Let’s face the facts: It has never been easier to spend money you don’t have. If you like ordering online, you’ll have a hard time finding a store that doesn’t let you pay in installments.

I’ve fallen into that trap way too many times. So many times, in fact, you can’t call it a trap anymore. I deliberately jumped into it.

Back in the day, I used to love online “window shopping”. Because it didn’t do any harm. I put product after product after product into the shopping cart and it was fine because I would never press “Buy” anyway.

These days it’s a lot trickier. I have to avoid the websites altogether because there is always a way to get what I feel I desperately need, but would never be able to afford.

Take online subscriptions, it’s the same trap in a different color. You pay an overseeable amount of money for something that seems much more valuable to you than say 5 Dollars.
But those subscriptions add up. And chances are, you have more than one. The worst thing is, with time, everything gets slightly more expensive than it was before. All of this adds up.

But let’s not stop at stuff you’re unnecessarily buying. Especially when you’re young, even when it comes to things you do need: you probably can’t afford them.
Be it your tuition, your rent, or even your food.
There is a loan for everything, though. And the best part: You don’t even have to think about that money.

For a while.

Until it comes back to haunt you.

2. Dread

It doesn’t matter how much you benefit from loans, the thought of more and more money you don’t even have, disappearing from your future income, can be taunting.

Even if you have a plan for the future, you can never be sure how things turn out and that means your debt kind of just hovers over you.

Especially with my student loan, I never felt like any of the money I had or was making, ever belonged to me. So I kind of dissociated from it.

I for one am painfully aware of the money I owe and I always jump back and forth between being thankful I get the chance to not worry about trying to make ends meet and knowing this will all have to come to an end soon.

3. Unrealistic expectations

People always want a quick fix. Winning the lottery, making money online, passive income. You name it.

Most of the tips you get on finance, are ones where you actually have to get up and change something. But people have become lazy. And scared.

Spending money has become a kind of coping mechanism. How else would you explain the existence of a thing people like to call retail therapy?

If you can’t fix it, why not treat yourself to feel better about it?

4. The Reason you spend this money in the first place

Honestly, there are a lot of different reasons people spend money they don’t have.

As I already mentioned, it could be to be able to study, to pay rent, to eat. And though this can be a huge part of it, those are not necessarily the reasons I am talking about.

My personal downfall was my mental health. I was trying to fill a hole when really, I needed to dig deeper.
Especially with my student loan, I never felt like any of the money I had or was making, ever belonged to me. So I kind of dissociated from it.

I felt like I had to. There were so many things I wanted to be able to do with my life, but everything seemed like it would never be possible, even if I got a hold of my debt.

It seemed like I was doomed no matter what because I didn’t see myself changing in all the ways I had to.

The Takeaway

Maybe instead of thinking everything is going to change within a few months, you could first think about why you want to be in control of your finances in the first place.

Are you overwhelmed by your student loans? Do you want to be able to provide for your family? Would you like to save up to be able to support your parents?

Do you maybe just not want to be in this position forever?

Whatever it may be, get your Why out of the way first. When there is no real reason behind what we’re doing, it’s easy to get off track. Because there simply is no track to follow.

We think we are ready to change because we know we aren’t doing the right thing. But it doesn’t mean we’re ready.
It’s something we force ourselves into because we know at some point in time, we have to change. And that’s true, but also misleading.

Don’t wait around for the perfect moment to change. But don’t be too harsh on yourself, either.

When you take your time and actually think about your situation first, you can avoid a lot of failures on the way.

UX Designer based in Germany. I write about Mental Health, UX, Psychology and Self.

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