I think the source of a large portion of debt, is due to the effects of "retail therapy" or "recreational shopping". This is the practice of non-need based shopping and it's very big problem for a lot of people, especially for women.
It goes without saying that this had a negative impact on our budget. I'm lousy at window shopping. I can rarely see something I like without buying it and back then I bought a LOT of what I saw. So much so that I created a huge clutter problem to go with my growing debt problem.
That's where some of the seeds of this blog grew, when I started finding a way to overcome my clutter problem as well as getting out of debt. Solving my own problems gave me a desire to help other people get started on the same path.
Boredom is one reason for recreational shopping, but another reason is just because it feels good. It's true that buying something pretty and new always gives you a bit of a lift. Some people become addicted to that feeling, so they buy and buy things regardless of whether they actually need, want, or can afford them - simply to get that small rush. And when you've had a rough day, or are frustrated by a situation you can't solve (aren't we all sometimes?) then it's easy to feel like you "deserve" a little treat. Or a big one.
But the original problem doesn't actually go away and then you are still facing the same old problems plus a debt problem and possibly a clutter problem as well.
Solutions? Well, part of the solution is to just be aware of what you're doing. Take an objective look at your shopping behaviors. If you are starting to see signs of these kinds of behaviors, make another choice. YAHOO -- You Always Have Other Options.
Get a hobby, make some friends, plant a garden, find a cause, run a freaking marathon. These are all healthier and more fulfilling options in the long run and you won't be filling up your house with junk and your mailbox with credit card bills.
Come back and visit often. If you'd like to see past posts on this subject, click on the Smart Money tab and it will pull up a complete list.