2 Little White Lies We Tell Ourself to Justify Spending with Credit Cards

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We’ve all done it. 

We tell little white lies to save face, boost our egos, or maybe just to avoid an uncomfortable situation with a friend, because well… we want to remain friends.

You know!

  • “I thought I responded to your email, I am sure I did.” Because of all the things you had to do today, their request didn’t even make the top 10.
  • “I’m only 39.” Because 39 is so much younger than our actual age of 41.
  • “Wait I can’t hear you, can I call you back”, because right now you’re in the middle of something much more important than talking with them.
  • Or my favorite, “sure, I get it”, because it’s far easier to agree with what everyone is saying rather than admit you have no clue what they’re talking about.

There all little white lies and in most cases the repercussions are harmless and often we tell them from the perspective of being compassionate and caring.

 

2 Little White Lies We Tell Ourself to Justify Spending with Credit Cards

 

However, when it comes to credit card debt and justifying the use of credit cards to make purchases the long-term impact of these little white lies can be a bit more devastating.  And worst of all, we tell little white lies to ourselves as a means of justifying our credit card use.

Before I rid myself of credit card debt and made the decision to not carry a credit card balance, there were two little white lies I use to tell myself to justify my credit card spending.  These lies not only kept me using my credit cards and carrying a balance, but they kept me in debt.

Can you identify with these credit card lies?

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I Can Afford the Monthly Payment

Sure you can, because you have so much money in the bank you choose not to use cash.  You would rather charge it and pay more for it in the end.

In the moment, we determine what the monthly payment will be and make the determination that we can afford the monthly payment.  In our mind that makes it acceptable – so we charge it.

The reality is that if we really thought about the purchase and what it is really going to cost us in interest charges, versus whether we can afford the monthly payment, we would probably think twice about making that charge. 

The other perspective on this little white lie is that we never think about the other purchases we may make during the month.  The other purchases where we say, “I can afford the monthly payment.” 

Individually we may be able to afford the payment, but by the time we reach the end of the month all those individual “I can afford the monthly payment” add up to one big payment.

How often have you been surprised by your credit card statement when the minimum payment isn’t so minimum?

(Credit Sesame is a great resource for free credit reports and managing and monitoring your credit cards.)

 

2 Little White Lies We Tell Ourself to Justify Spending with Credit Cards

 

I Will Pay it Off at the End of the Month

Really? Why not pay for it with cash today?

If you are using credit cards on a regular basis to pay for your purchases it’s likely you don’t have the money in the first place.  So if you don’t have the money today, what makes you think you will have the money at the end of the month when your payment is due?

Unfortunately, if you are caught in this cycle, it’s likely your next little white lie will be “I will pay the balance off next month.”

The cycle continues to repeat itself over and over again until eventually, we find ourselves in debt making the minimum monthly payment, paying interest charges and staying in debt.

Watch my short YouTube video on how to pay off credit card debt using the snowball method.

Stop Telling Yourself that Little White Lie

To some degree, these little white lies create self-limiting beliefs, because as you tell these lies to yourself you form an inaccurate belief system that keeps you doing the same thing over and over again – in this case, the result is that you always have credit card debt.

One way to break the cycle is to be upright and straightforward with your decision-making process, and not tell the little white lie.

If you’re in debt and can’t afford to make the monthly payment, but you’re going to charge it anyway, then be honest with yourself, “I can’t afford to make this purchase, but I am going to charge it anyway.”

If you’re not going to pay the balance off at the end of the month say to yourself “I’m OK with paying interest charges and paying more for this.”

Why?

Because being honest with yourself, not telling that little white lie will make you more self-aware about your credit card spending habits.  Not telling that little white lie will eventually lead you to ask yourself “why the heck am I doing this.” 

That self-awareness will lead to change.

If you’re struggling with credit card debt, stop telling yourself these little white lies.  It’s the first step to eliminating your credit card debt and becoming debt free.

Helpful Resources:

Can you think of another little white lie we tell ourselves regarding credit cards? Comment below.

 

Kevin is the owner of FTP and an author of the personal finance book series Filling The Pig. He uses his own past successes with debt, saving cash, investing and running his own home based businesses to teach others about Creating a Lifestyle of Opportunities.

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