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Are You a Compulsive Debtor?

Jul 21, 2008
If you're in the middle of a financial crisis, and particularly if you always seem to be in the middle of a financial crisis, you may need to ask yourself, "Am I a compulsive spender, or am I just having problems with debt right now?"

This is a difficult question to answer, because debt is a common factor in our society's ideal lifestyle. People routinely spend beyond their means. It's not unlike alcoholism. Many people drink, but some drink without the ability to control it.

Just so, not everyone with a large credit card debt is a compulsive debtor. But many people are. It's not fun to admit, but if you do have a compulsive spending problem, you can get better. That, alone, is one reason that it is a good idea, right now, to determine if your debt problem is caused by a compulsive spending problem.

The sooner you know about a potential problem, the sooner you can address it and become solvent, and the sooner your life can become livable and "normal." Finding out you have a problem is actually a very important moment, because you then have the power and control to solve that problem.

If you feel you might be a compulsive debtor, you should ask yourself the following questions.

Do you buy things on credit just because they're a bargain? Many compulsive debtors buy "bargains" that they don't need or want, and wouldn't pay cash for. It's not so much about the item itself, as about the spending, and the excitement of getting a bargain. If you're a bargain shopper and you buy a lot of stuff you don't really want just because it's a bargain, that could be a sign of a problem.

Do you get a thrill, or an ego boost, from having a credit card? Many compulsive debtors feel a little special, a little powerful, because they have a credit card which allows them to buy "anything." For many debtors, just the ability to get a credit card is exciting, if they've had credit problems in the past.

Are you paying credit cards with credit cards? If your debt situation has gotten to the point where you're paying one credit card with another, you know that it's serious. While this alone does not make you a compulsive debtor, it is obvious that you have some serious issues with debt that need to be dealt with.

Do you ever bounce checks? Most compulsive debtors bounce checks, and most do not realize that people without a spending problem almost never bounce checks. Many people go years without bouncing a single check. Compulsive debtors bounce checks fairly regularly, in some cases, and compound their debt with bad check fees.

Do you always seem to have a "money crisis"? Again, many people have money problems, but compulsive debtors live in a constant state of crisis.

Are you vague or uncertain about your money situation? Compulsive debtors almost never know exactly how much money comes in, how much goes out, or what the outgoing funds buy. They may not balance their checkbooks and often don't have any idea how much money is in their account.

If, after answering these questions, you feel you have a debt problem, there is help. There are twelve step groups you can join that will help you overcome your compulsive spending, and books you can find at your local library on getting and staying out of debt. Recognizing your problem will help you overcome it.
About the Author
Read the blog http://www.zero-out-my-debt.com for the latest tips and information on debt reduction and debt elimination .
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