Why We Spend Money On Things We Shouldn’t (and how to break the cycle)

By Jean Chatzky

I can’t really afford this, but I love it … I really shouldn’t have bought that, but I needed a pick me up … Is this what a spending hangover feels like?

Sound familiar? Turns out the majority of us — 64 percent — regret our spending on short-term pleasures, including food, clothing, new cars, tech gadgets and vacations, according to a new study by Schwab.

Specifically, we wish we’d managed our spending better so that we could have put more money away for retirement. In fact, not having enough money for a comfortable retirement was the top source of money stress for those surveyed. With all of that rear-view mirror research, the question is: Why don’t we just stop? The answer, unfortunately, is complicated.

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