There are just too many reasons why people overspend.
Let me give you a list of what I have seen and what I think. If you agree with this post and have many reasons of your own, please share them here.
1. Going with the wrong crowd
Get your going out crowd right. If you are a vegetarian tea drinking person, chances are you will over spend going out with a group which has non-vegetarians and boys and girls who booze. This is one of the voluntary (or no-voluntary) type of over spending.
2. Impressing a girlfriend or wife
Impressing a girlfriend is something that men do regularly -- but some guys carry on with this habit even after marriage! The longer it lasts, the more it hurts.
3. Impressing friends, colleagues, business partners
Trying to impress people by choosing more expensive locales, expensive wine, food, well it goes on.
4. Giving lavish gifts
Again so that the person carries tales about this to others and says nice things about them. This is a kind of a craving for love.
5. Spending money is like a feeling of love
Did Madonna not say this line? Scratch, scratch... you will find it.
6. Because they cannot tell their friends that they cannot afford it.
7. 'I got a Rs 8940 Income tax refund' -- hey dude you had paid excess tax... it is YOUR OWN MONEY coming back to you. Give me a break.
8. When a person's income falls, s/he is not able to adjust to lower levels. So they fool themselves saying 'things will now improve' so they are telling their friends, relatives, OWN MIND, that they can afford it.
9. 'Come on Subra... I run a big business, my factory has 33 workers, my office has 14 people working... Do not tell me I cannot go once in a while to Leela for a drink' -- hey dude your cash flow... yes people live up to a false image. Employees accept that post retirement their expenses will fall, but professionals do such things...
10. Cannot say 'I cannot afford it' or say No, you do not deserve it....
Many times it is buying love by giving gifts. Maslow was right... remember that guy ?
11. Proving self worth
Sometimes it feels good to wear a Rs 200,000 suit, a Rs 55,000 pen and a Rs 14,000 shoe. Just for some people, sometimes. Actually does not work for the real rich.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com