Tahira K. Hira: The Psychology of Overspending

April 9, 2008

Personal credit card debt in the United States has doubled since 2004, and personal bankruptcies are at the highest rates ever. And despite unprecedented levels of economic growth and wealth creation, the median American family has less than $10,000 in assets. This begs the question, “Where has all the money gone?”

The unvarnished truth is that many Americans spend and continue to spend well beyond their means, in essence mortgaging their futures for the temporary convenience of the present. And as the U.S. housing crisis continues to intensify, these same individuals are finding themselves in an increasingly precarious financial predicament brought on by years of unchecked consumptive habits.

In this program, we speak with Dr. Tahira K. Hira of Iowa State University. Dr. Hira is internationally known for her research in consumer bankruptcy, consumer credit, and the social and psychological aspects of borrowing among middle and high income Americans as well as the impact of gambling and credit use on family financial well-being.

Join us in this timely and insightful conversation where we explore the key factors that influence people’s buying and borrowing behavior and help explain why people overspend in the first place.