Low Self Control and Spending

by Dual Income No Kids on June 23, 2009 · 0 comments

As James’ comprehensive exam comes up we’ve been spending a great deal of time going over flash cards together. One of the theories that is big in the criminology world is that of low self control.

As you can imagine, a great deal of crime is attributed to the fact that the perpetrator just can’t control themselves enough to refrain from said activity.

Thinking about this from a financial perspective I believe that this would be the root of all evil, so to speak, around both personal and corporate finance. It certainly has been a large driver in the perpetuation of credit card use, as well as the larger greed seen on wall street and in the banking sector.

Honestly I think that if one is able to manage their finances well, chances are it is in large part due to their ability to control urges to spend and ability to live frugal. Master this, and the rest is a cake walk.

Easier said than done. Even for those of us who try and know better. There are influences at every part of our lives, with social norms that persuade us to spend. From holidays to check out sale items, it all pressures to spend.

I’m still mulling over all of the best ways to apply self-control, particularly in those areas where it is about social influence and we don’t even have as much self interest aside from appeasing others in our life – which I guess in turn satisfies us on an emotional level. If you want to build wealth, self-control is going to be the most important trait you need to acquire.

Anyway, it is certainly an interesting subject to consider and something I’ll be pondering for quite awhile.



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