The Average American household is $16061 in Credit Card Debt!
It’s safe to say we have a problem as a nation!
I was working on a lesson plan for school and trying to get updated numbers when I found this number! I was shell shocked! According to Nerd Wallet, $16061 is the average credit card debt for an American household. Nerd Wallet also gives you the average numbers for college, mortgage, auto loans, and other types of debt. Take some time to read this article; you will be surprised by some of their numbers! One thing that drastically stuck out to me was that people who make more money tend to be in more debt. Now there is a variety of factors that affect this number, but I’m going to talk about one. Impulse control.
Now the average American sees something, and they want it, especially those little purchases that are less than $20. We tend to tell ourselves it’s just $5 no big deal. Well soon those $5-$20 purchases add up, and you have no money left for the month. Then something big happens. Like if your furnace or AC goes out; you have to call the plumber, or maybe your car breaks down. Now you’re left with nothing in your wallet to cover those expenses. Now, this may happen to most people, but it doesn’t have to!
To get yourself out of this monthly cycle, you need to be able to control your impulses! Maybe it is that fix of stopping at a convenience store every day for either your morning coffee or pop. If you spend $2 a day, that comes to $60 every month, $720 a year, that you could have used toward something you needed or fun trip. Now, what about when you head to Target? I love walking around Target, there are many times I have only gone in for one or two things and walk out $150 later, most of that stuff are things that I didn’t need I just told myself I did because it was cute and I wanted it. Seriously I have enough coffee cups and wine glasses to host a party and then breakfast the next day, but that didn’t stop me from buying another one!
This next one is one that most girls struggle with is clothes/ shoe shopping. I have a Shoe Problem. My last count of shoes and boots over a year ago hit the 90 pair range. Everytime I go through them I tell myself they are way too cute to get rid of, and I might need them again someday. (So not helpful to cleaning out my closet!) Now Boots are my major downfall. I’ll admit I have bought a $500 pair of boots before; seriously those boots are so awesome! For some reason, I always pick out the more expensive boots at the store. When I was single, I could care less. At my peak boot buying. I paid close to $2000 on boots in one year!
We all have our vices some more than others but learning how to control that impulse to buy has been a huge struggle for myself. There are a few things though that has made the battle easier.
You need to accept that you got yourself into a mess. You may wish you would have done something different, but wishing isn’t going to change anything. It is time to accept and learn from it. Figure out a plan that can fix it and works the best with your debt.
Figuring out what we owe in total debt every month.
It serves as a great reminder on why I don’t need to buy something. Yes this number is still depressing for us. but i greatly enjoy everytime I get to cross a debt off the list!
I wouldn’t say he is cheap loves to go out to eat, and I can’t take him grocery shopping if we are trying to stay in budget, but other than that he doesn’t like to spend money. Anytime I take him with me to a store and find something I like he usually gives me the do you really need that look, and I put it back because I have too much stuff in my house anyways.
Writing our down our financial goals and having to look at the goals every day in my office.
Learning to control your impulse spending has a lot more to do with having the ability to look beyond the right now to what you want. You have to rewire part of your brain that feels excitement everytime you get something new.
It’s not very fun always saying no to yourself. Sometimes it sucks. We started giving ourself a small reward every time we accomplish one of our goals. Sometimes it’s as little as going out to eat at a nice restaurant or us both buying just buying something little that we had wanted but didn’t need. This small litter reward helps up stay motivated for crossing off out next goal!
I don’t know one person who is debt free that has said it was easy, but everyone of them enjoys the freedom it gives. Can you imagine only having to pay for your utilities every month? That’s a dream most Americans are scared to even dream, but I dare you to! I Dare you to dream of the life you can have debt free. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it! So cut up those credit cards and start working yourself out of debt!
Statistics in this post are from Nerd Wallet, 2016 Credit Card Debt Study and can be found online at the following link https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/average-credit-card-debt-household/?trk=nw_gn_4.0