Friday, October 3, 2014

Personl Debt

This weeks topic falls under the heading do as I say - not as I do.

In today's western society it seems rampant consumerism is the order of the day.  We need to spend spend spend.  But stuff to be happy.  Buy stuff to do your patriotic duty and make jobs,  Buy stuff. Buy more stuff.  The road to happiness is bought - and you don't even need money to buy.  Just use credit.  What the hell - the government runs on a huge deficit - so why not all of us?? Max out those cards.  Buy a house and car you can't afford.  It's the patriotic thing to do.

And then when you can barely breathe with the weight of your personal debt pressing in on you, you are on your own.  Every time your phone rings you cringe with embarrassment knowing its probably a debt collector that bought your debt for pennies on the dollar and is calling to threaten and harass you into payment of the debt that has now been inflated due to bogus charges added by various and sundry.  The collector will scream and yell, call you useless, threaten to sue and then offer some sort of payment plan.

Helluva way to live.  If you consider that living.

Or, you can try living within your means and not buying in to the bigger/flashier/more expensive is better scenario. Buy what you can pay for.  Stay away from credit -  use it wisely.  Don't sign away your family's future for a home or car you cannot afford.  Bank 10% of your earnings - regardless how hard that might be.  Discipline yourself and teach that discipline to your kids. Everyone will be better off in the long run. Be prepared for the worst and hope it never happens.  Instead of a $5000 cruise take a family trip to Yellowstone. Take a driving vacation like folks used to do all of the time.  I still remember the trip that took us to the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Mesa Verde, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. It was a great time. There is much to see and do wherever you live that will not leave you shackled with debt.

I've been down both sides of this road.  One works, the other is a recipe for disaster.

That's this weweek's shack take on the weekly LBC topic.  Check out what the other LBC members that posted this week have to say on the matter.


  1. I'm from that old school of saving for what you want. I keep a little notebook for lists of grocery needs and general items. At the pack is a page for the wish list. I regularly list items that interest me, but need further exploration or saving. It is amazing how often I cross things off several months later, because I realise I no longer have an interest in the item or that it would not be worth the money. Sometimes I laugh and call it my money saving page!

    1. That little page is genius - it prevents impulse buying. Marketing folks hate that but it is probably the best thing to do to save money. Well done!

  2. Your post reminds me of a slogan by a credit union years ago, "Ten percent of what you earn is yours to keep!" Andy and I were savers and we probably saved more than ten percent.

  3. I agree with you that Grannymar's last page is a genius. One of my weaknesses is books and now a days, since I really do not have space to store new ones till I go through my annual culling exercise, I use the wishlist option in online stores. Like G I often delete items there. Your own wisdom by hindsight having been on both sides is how most people learn. Try telling them that and they will not listen. Overconfidence, once again a trait subliminally instilled by our media is the cause for many such problems.