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OveratingGetting out of credit card debt is a hard thing to do IF one doesn’t own up to what has caused all of the credit card debt in the first place. The same thing holds true for those who have an issue with eating too much, not exercising enough, and needing to lose weight. Did you ever notice that it can be very easy even for those who are well intentioned to start to blame their debt/overeating on something and anything other than the one true cause of all of the problems? The “one true cause” I am referring to is of course – US! It’s OUR fault!

It’s very easy to focus on the external things that we like to think “cause” us to go into credit card debt or wake up one morning and realize that our jeans don’t fit (yep, I am writing this from personal experience!). “Those credit card companies just keep sending me those cash advance checks so I just have to head out to the mall and use them” or “Well, it’s an office party and I would be rude if I didn’t eat 4 plates of cocktail shrimp, right?” rather than the REAL issue of “Wow, I need to get control of MY spending and MY eating. I need to get some discipline, self control, and work on building better habits for eating right and managing my money.”

In a recent comment that I made on the Dave Ramsey & credit cards/credit card debt post I mentioned the following analogy which I think is an apt one:

Whether someone uses a credit card, debit card, check, cash, or a Confederate penny the method of payment is totally irrelevant because the issue is that to get control of debt one must spend less than they have.

None of the various instruments of payment ever spend themselves – the owner does all the spending. Many people like to play the “blame game” and act as if it’s somehow their credit card’s fault that they got into debt when in reality its certainly not the fault of an inanimate piece of plastic.

It would be similar to someone with a weight problem blaming all of their overeating on their fork. No matter whether they use a fork, spoon, knife, or just shove the food in their face with their hands to eat it still boils down to the fact that the method of eating is totally irrelevant because the issue is that to get control of ones weight one must eat less!

What do YOU think?

Do you ever find yourself falling into the trap of blaming your behavior on the methods you use rather than the root cause of your behavior (you)?

Is the analogy between overeating and going into debt a good one?

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5 Responses to “Credit Cards, Overeating, & the Credit Card “Blame Game””

  1. Hmmm, I blame my parents for not giving me the genes to allow me to have six pack abs. Even at my most fittest, with 6-7% body fat, I could only get a 4-pack. Hence, I gave up, but still blame them haha.

    People are happy to be overweight since the pleasure of food outweighs any bad feelings of being overweight.

    In the same line of thinking, people are happy to go in debt, b/c the happiness the stuff they buy brings is more than any pain debt creates.

    Everything is rational!

    • Joel says:

      Yep, I agree with you and I am all for people being able to choose how they want to act BUT where I do get my feathers ruffled is when people make their own choices but then act as if they do not deserve the consequences. (i.e. “It’s not my fault – it’s the credit card company’s/McDonald’s fault that I am in debt/fat”) Wouldn’t you agree?

  2. Well people who overeat are usually trying to distract themselves from something else, a bad day at work etc. People rarely just eat “because they like food” – if that was all, the body’s inbuilt “feeling full” mechanism would stop them eating too much. The obese ignore their body’s signals because the need to avoid the pain of whatever is going on in their life is greater than the discomfort of feeling full.

    And people who overspend have the exact same psychology – they are distracting themselves from something, spending to make themselves feel better. In my experience, it’s only when they get truly scared that they start paying down their debts. And the obese only go on diets when they get ill and their doctors tell them their life is at risk…

    • Joel says:

      Yup, regardless of the motivations though the responsibility is still up to the eater/spender to own up to the consequences of their actions and realize they they are the ones to blame. Wouldn’t you agree?

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