Intellectually, we are aware that debt = slavery. And yet, we trade our time, energy, and often our mental, physical, and emotional health to incur more debt. Unless done out of necessity for survival, this is irrational behavior. Why is it more important to have a new car (when your old one works just fine) than it is to save?
Please don’t misunderstand me – I’m not against having stuff. I like stuff. However, when the procurement of said stuff becomes more important than health or security, I have to raise an eyebrow. Hey, I used to participate in this type of behavior, so I do understand how it sneaks up on you unawares.
As it turns out, it may be a biological predisposition for humans to make irrational financial decisions. Professor Laurie Santos and her students did a study about this phenomenon entitled “A Monkey Economy.” Enjoy her TED Talks presentation:
Regardless of predisposition, the condition can be overcome. My husband and I struggle with it every time someone makes fun of our orange van. To overcome, we just remind ourselves that while everyone around us is spending their money on more stuff, we will soon be living our dreams. It helps to keep the following thought in my head: Them: lifelong debt vs Us: only two more years to go!