Essay 10 – People get into debt by buying things they do not need

GT Writing Task 2 (Essay Writing) Sample # 10

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people get into debt by buying things they do not need and cannot afford. What are the reasons for this behaviour? What action can be taken to prevent people from having this problem?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer 1:
Scientific innovations have radically changed the human experience more than ever before, and today, the world we live in is awash with material goods. People believe consumer products improve the quality of life and consumers, very often, make irrational decisions in purchasing commodities in order to attain happiness and satisfaction. Consequently, people are burdened with debt. In this case, financial literacy could be a silver bullet for this problem.

Consumerism is the prime reason for people being saddled with debts. This trend has developed a culture which places an emphasis on lifestyle using material gains to achieve contentment and pleasure. Moreover, businesses of all scales tend to capitalize by stressing their marketing activities on this culture. Consumer perception, in fact, manipulates sociological and psychological attitudes towards buying products that people do not need most of the time. That is to say that consumerism makes a social and institutional arrangement that spurs individuals to purchase more goods. A credit card is a good example here; an individual with a pulse to increase purchasing ability gets a credit card and the credit card companies are marketing their cards to people, even to students who do not have a steady income.

Consumer culture develops an untenable habit of spending beyond one’s budget. To curb this issue, we should introduce financial education to students of all levels. Financial literacy includes financial, credit and debt management, and knowledge that is essential to make financially sensible decisions. This literacy paves the way for managing financial risks effectively, and thus people can avoid financial pitfalls.

In conclusion, we should undertake only what we have the money or ability to do and no more. Some people ignore this axiom and amass debts through unnecessary purchases. Although consumer culture worsens the situation, financial education can ameliorate the condition.

Model Answer 2:
Many individuals find themselves trapped in debt due to their impulsive purchases of unnecessary and unaffordable items. This essay will delve into the underlying reasons behind this behaviour and propose actionable measures to prevent people from succumbing to this problem.

One of the key reasons for this behaviour is the pervasive influence of consumer culture. Advertising and marketing campaigns bombard individuals with messages that link happiness and social status to material possessions. The desire to conform to societal standards and portray a desirable image drives people to make impulsive purchases, often disregarding their financial limitations. For instance, the rise of social media platforms has intensified the pressure to showcase an extravagant lifestyle, leading individuals to buy items they do not need and cannot afford in order to maintain a certain image.

Another factor contributing to this behaviour is the availability of easy credit and the allure of instant gratification. Financial institutions offer credit cards, instalment plans, and loans with minimal requirements, allowing individuals to make purchases beyond their current means. The lure of acquiring desired items immediately, without considering the long-term financial consequences, can push individuals into debt.

To address this issue, several actions can be taken to prevent individuals from falling into the trap of unnecessary debt. Firstly, promoting financial education is crucial. Schools and educational institutions should incorporate comprehensive financial literacy programmes into their curricula. These programmes can cover topics such as budgeting, responsible borrowing, and the potential consequences of impulsive spending. By equipping individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills, they can make informed financial decisions and exercise self-control when faced with the temptation to make unnecessary purchases.

Additionally, stricter regulations on lending practices are necessary. Financial institutions should conduct thorough assessments of individuals’ financial situations before approving credit. Implementing responsible lending policies can help prevent people from obtaining credit that they cannot realistically repay.

In conclusion, the reasons for individuals getting into debt through the purchase of unnecessary and unaffordable items are deeply rooted in the influence of consumer culture, and easy access to credit. However, by promoting financial education and implementing responsible lending practices, society can mitigate this problem to a great extent.

Sample Answer 3:
“If you buy things you do not need, you will soon sell things you need”, a famous saying by Warren Buffett emphasises how important it is to effectively manage our personal finances. I believe the ease of shopping and craving for the latest gadgets are the primary reasons people are alluded to purchasing unnecessary things. Financial education can save us from that.

To begin with, we are living in a digital era with an abundance of consumer products. Online shopping makes us even more careless and we end up owning things we do not need at all. For instance, a recent report in the Guardian newspaper emphasises how digital marketing strategies tempt people to buy more goods than in the pre-digital era. We are adopting a consumerism habit which gives us pleasure in shopping and keeps us less focused on savings.

Moreover, the competitive market and rivalry among giant electronic manufacturers are often the reason we tend to buy the latest gizmos. The rapid upgrades of electronic products often force us to get the latest gadgets and thus we end up purchasing unnecessary things. Unfortunately, many parents keep pace with this trend by purchasing unnecessary things their children wish for and thus instilling the habit unknowingly among the children.

To prevent people from purchasing unnecessary commodities and getting into debt, we need to teach the importance of money management to our children from an early stage- both in schools and at home. Parents should not oblige to buy everything their children want and let their children know the real picture of poverty around the world. Moreover, access to credit cards and consumer loans should be made more stringent to save the middle class from financial damage.

To conclude, we should not become slaves to consumer products and should buy them rationally to save both our future and the environment. Proper lessons by teachers and parents and the government’s initiative to toughen access to credit cards and loans can be very useful to curb it.

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