About Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service. He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.
Know Your Money
Friday – March 14, 2014
Know Your Money Special Feature:
Confessions Of A Spendaholic
By Donell Edwards
The MacMillan Dictionary defines spendaholic as “Somebody who is addicted to spending money.” At one time to some extent that definition described me. From a young age I felt deprived, although I was provided with a comfortable lifestyle and just about everything I wanted. However, as a child, I compared what my family had with others who had more and I felt inferior. I never discussed these feelings with anyone, and this thinking affected many of the decisions that I made in my life when I reached adulthood.
To me, being able to buy things and having lots of credit cards were symbols of success. So many times I made purchases that I could not afford. Needless to say, that got me into financial difficulty. Most of the time I managed to survive without any serious problems, but eventually bad spending practices caught up with me.
While spending freely, I never considered the damage that was being done to my credit, and the resulting affect not having good credit had on employment opportunities, qualifying for a home loan or auto loan, and many other important aspects of life.
I was an angry young man because I believed that I had been denied many employment opportunities that I qualified for which had limited my income and my ability to enjoy the kind of lifestyle that I wanted. I had developed a sense that I was entitled to more, that I deserved the things I wanted, and that when I got married and had a family that we deserved more. So I retaliated by getting as many credit cards as I could and using them to get what I wanted and thinking that I would find a way to pay the credit card bills somehow. I was reacting to my circumstances, which I felt were unfair, but it was the wrong reaction.
I share this in hopes that anyone reading this who has similar feelings or thoughts may be helped to learn from my experience. You see, although I was not necessarily addicted to spending, I was a spendaholic nonetheless because I knowingly spend money that I did not have by using credit cards excessively. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a budget or that I did not understand how to budget, however, at that time my budget was based on hope rather than on reality. Hope that I would get a better job, hope that I would be able to make more money, hope that I would be successful in business ventures that I started, and everything would be alright. At the same time I was mad because I was in this situation and I felt life was unfair and I was reacting to my circumstances. Whatever my reasons, they were wrong.
As I embarked down this road to financial self-destruction I was in denial and rejected the good advice I received from family and friends who tried to help me. I would tell them, “You just don’t understand.” Eventually I lost everything and had to work to reestablish my credit and rebuild my life. All because of being a spendaholic.
Those experience in life taught me valuable lessons that I will never forget, and that I hope will allow me to help others by sharing the knowledge that I gained from having those experiences. I know that spending can be addictive, but anyone who really wants to can overcome the addiction. Just don’t let it destroy you before you take action.
Brave Souls Wanted:
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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