There is a great phrase that I often hear when it comes to purchasing which is ‘Pay it and forget it’ but the phrase is vague as it can be interpreted in different ways. It can be interpreted in a good way and also in a negative way. We need to come to the realization that when we pay for something, we have to pay it once and for all then forget about the payment and use the purchase as it is meant be used.
When you hear the phrase ‘Pay it and forget it’, what comes to your mind? How we are paying the item and the fact that it is paid without any consequences is the matter of importance. Let’s say that we pay for a product or service with cash and then forget about the payment; even thought it is cash, we have to know if it is cash that we can afford which would be disposable income. With credit cards, we are borrowing someone else’s money and we need first to ensure that it is within our disposable income as ideally we will be able to pay it off. Unfortunately, we are not in the ideal world and there are tendencies to forget about it leaving a principal and the amount we need to pay it back; especially if it is a big purchase. This is the problem that we are facing and we have to break that pattern in order to understand that, yes, we can borrow from someone else and we need to pay it back within our means.
Another way that we can interpret the phrase is through purchasing something and then forgetting about the purchased item. This is another problem that we as a society face; all too common. Why do we purchase items that we think we will use but in the end we discard it and store it away somewhere in a pile? The cost of that item has been wasted and could of been used for something that we do need to use in our daily lives or; with the financial problems that we are facing, save for an emergency fund, education, retirement, passive income and paying off debt if we have any. In the western world and globally, we live by consumerism where there is a buyer and seller. This is currently how we live by and unfortunately are a slave to. There are services we have to pay for such as gas, hydro, water, rent, mortgage, insurance, health. If we have no choice and have to live by this then we have to spend consciously to that. The needs outweigh the wants in our life. This has to be imprinted into our mindset. So when we say ‘Pay it and forget it’ then we have to apply this absolutely to our needs. Our wants have to follow the same principles as the needs. If we have to sacrifice the wants from our desires then so be it as long as we live within or below our means. We cannot afford to overspend as it is hurting us and society as a whole.
The reader will say it is easy to express the willingness to stay within our means, avoid or get out of debt and I sincerely understand that since we live in reality, there are people in different income brackets, people who do or who don’t have employment, people studying to better their education. What can we do to change this? Can distribution of wealth be incorporated in our system? Should there be a reform to credit and lending? We are worried too much on the negative outcomes and forget the possibilities of what may come to the benefit of society. The powers at be can make a difference by looking at the financial chaos that is happening and provide insight on how we can manage our finances regardless of our current income level. This would cause a radical change on our financial system and a change in our attitude towards the financial discipline. In any case, the belief and willing to change our spending behavior and paying our debt exists. We just have to interpret the phrase ‘Pay it and forget it’ correctly with minimum exposure to debt.