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August 2003 - The danger of going to a mall

The danger of going to a mall

☳ by Adam Aspilla

Danger is everywhere. In a forest, the danger is an assault of wild animals; in the ocean, the danger is an attack of sharks or other sea creatures; in the air, airplane may crash; in the open field, lighting may strike; on city streets, the danger is a vehicle may run astray; in eating, the danger is you may be choked of the food you eat. What is the danger of going to a mall?


One common pastime is going to a mall for windowshopping. At the outset, you may have no intention to buy anything for the purpose is to simply satisfy your curiosity of knowing the latest items available in the market. However, as you come across items on “sale” that you want, you will start hearing a sweet little voice saying “You really want it! “Charge it!” “Act now!


Upon hearing the silent voice, you will rationalize by justifying your need to buy the items you want. You may say, “the price is half of the regular price, buying it will save me a lot of money and this is my great opportunity.” As a result, you decide base on your emotion and consequently, you will use your credit card to purchase items that you do not need. Repetition of impulsive buying would sink you to the river of debt.


Kristen Johnson in her book, Devotion for Debtors, says, “ I can’t think of anything worse than falling into a river full of crocodiles. And that’s what living with debt is like: swimming in the Nile delta, with sliteyed crocodiles slithering toward me through the rushes. I’d be lucky if I got out of that river, maimed but alive.” She further says, “At first, credit is friendly and helpful, but eventually, debt becomes tyranny, marching around person’s life with impunity, and destroying any chance for a happy outcome.”


Most of my clients who were swimming in the ocean of debts were caused by indiscriminate used of their credit cards resulting in spending their leisure time in a mall. A mall is relatively safe compared with the places of danger above mentioned. However, when you go to a mall with your credit cards, it becomes a dangerous place to go, for it could lead you to a financial bind that you may not be able to untangle. If you only pay the minimum monthly payments of your outstanding balance, you will become a slave of your debts for life.


Moreover, when your delinquent account is assigned to a collection agent, Kristen Johnson’s statement could be proven true, for an agent would commence to hound you at work and at home that could cause you sleepless night pondering how to overcome your financial trouble.


To avoid the evident danger in going to a mall, when you go to a mall for your amusement, do not bring your credit cards. Otherwise, try to keep away from going to a mall. 


Adam Aspilla is a Senior Financial Counselor of the Debt Clinic of Canada Inc. and the author of the book, You Can Negotiate All Your Debts. He also writes a biweekly column, “What Matters In Life” in “Taliba Newspaper. For free initial, professional and confidential consultation, please call 905-306-7572.