Many people today are happy to just impulse-shop on high interest Credit cards rather than striving for home ownership. Owning multiple credit cards unfortunately is becoming more mainstream in today’s lifestyle, where social media and selfies are just part of the culture, and showing off trendy new clothes on Instagram takes clear preference over saving a deposit for a first home.
Many of us within the younger population are actually becoming addicted to their credit cards: a serious mental problem resembling the same characteristics as alcoholism, drug or gambling addiction. People with this problem display the medically recognised signs of addiction, such as withdrawal, loss of control, relationship issues, and continued use despite negative consequences. For example, negative consequences may include repayments increasing beyond genuine ability to pay them back, and lying to loved ones to explain items being purchased that cost outside of the victim’s affordability.
Victims may also lose control of their spending, and find that they purchase items for their emotional and mental well-being, not because they actually need the item. Credit card addiction itself needs to be treated, as being ruled by your credit card is no way to spend your life. Racking up debt in an uncontrolled manner is miles apart from being finance savvy.
Once credit card addiction is addressed and dealt with, individuals would be surprised with the news that home ownership does not necessarily mean bowing completely out of your social life.
Instagram and selfies to show off your new jewellery or hard work in the gym is part of our lives, and if you derive positive energy from it, there is no need to stop just because you are entering the property market. Smart property investors know they don’t need to forgo their gym membership, love of fashion or holidays to by and own property.
Recent Government reforms prevent credit card providers from contacting users with offers to increase spending limits are a great start, but don’t allow for complete credit card closure which further trap credit card addicts. However, smart credit card use goes beyond government legislation, which is why I am offering my ‘Money Genius program’ as well as weekend workshops around Australia. I educate attendees with the knowledge and skills on how to manage their credit cards and beat their credit card addiction.
Obviously the new legislation is a fantastic start for helping to solve the addiction issue that we face, but its only one side of the coin. Australians need to properly understand the correct purpose of credit, when to use it and when not to, and how much to use. That goes beyond legislation. My personal goal is to help them to create a better present and future for themselves.
Ayda Shabanz , Managing Director of Grow Consulting Group.
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