While we have already written about avoiding unnecessary spending and how to avoid debt, it still seems important to provide helpful information on how to actively avoid debt. Consumer debt is one of the leading reasons why Americans are in debt. To put it simply – people can’t control their spending. Maybe it’s a result of the overwhelming advertising that is in your face every day or maybe it’s just because it feels nice to buy stuff – at least for a short term.

Do You Have a Wish List?

Amazon is one of the most popular retailers in the country and it is no secret. They have a great business model. You can get almost any item at a great price, without having to drive the store. You don’t even have to drive to the store – which is something that I personally hate. ugh! Another great feature of Amazon is that they allow you to keep a wish list. In other words, these are all the things that you want to buy (or will buy eventually) once you have the money.

I used to keep a wish list updated, whether it was on Amazon or in my head. I constantly had a list of things that I would buy. It was great in principle. I convinced myself that shopping before I needed something would allow me to find the best price.

Do you ever do the same thing? Do you convince yourself to do things that are against your better judgment?

Why a Wish List Leads to Debt

Having a wish list will undoubtedly lead to consumer debt. There is no way around it. You will not be satisfied with this or that and without limitations, it will always escalate. While I have always been able to limit my spending and stay debt free, I know that I have spent money that I didn’t need to. When you have a list, whenever you have “extra money,” instead of putting it to savings or investments, you feel justified in spending it on stuff.

Did you need that stuff? Probably not, but I am sure it felt good – for a moment. Then, it started to hit you. You just spent money that could have been saved for your child’s education, or an early retirement fund, or vacation. Instead, you have more clutter and regret.

Don’t let yourself be victim to this habit of consumerism. Remember to be active in your fight against debt and avoid it at all costs. I guarantee that you won’t regret saving extra money.