Living for Today Can Lead to Paying for the Past
A frequently uttered battle cry of our borrow-and-spend culture is “live for today.” This phrase is often used to rationalize a questionable purchase, because “you never know what can happen tomorrow.” Actually, for lots of the “live for today” folks, we do know what will happen tomorrow: You will pay a huge price for your spendthrift ways.
The article cites some scary statistics about credit cards and the lower economic classes:
By 2007, 35% of Americans in the bottom two-fifths of income had a credit card with a balance, up from just over 21% in 1989. And use of these cards increased. The median balance on the cards, adjusted for inflation, grew 180% over that period for people in the bottom fifth of income and 80% for those in the next higher fifth.
I enjoyed this quote from one young woman regretting her prior ways and her $36,000 consumer debt load:
Years ago, I lived for now. It was so stupid. It’s depressing, but I can’t live that life anymore. I basically want to live for the future.
I recommend that you read the entire article. It will make you re-think making credit available to everyone as if it were an inalienable right of a democratic society.
Maybe this is what the high income “borrow and spenders” should be telling those beneath them on the economic ladder:
- Don’t do what I do; and
- The pain of financial discipline is much less than the pain of spending regret.
For some other interesting reads this week:
Over on my Go To Retirement blog, I wrote about dollar cost averaging and retirement investing. There are some hard truths about dollar cost averaging that maybe you haven’t considered.
Moolanomy published a comprehensive list of financial lessons we all can learn from the economic events of 2008-2009. Will we let history be a good teacher of financial lessons?
Mighty Bargain Hunter found an excellent online resource for free computer help. It’s a geekfest that can benefit all of us.
If you want to read a summary of the “new math” arguments behind the cost-savings in the Senate health care reform bill, read this post from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.
Steadfast Finances lists 10 excellent reasons why you should not be investing in gold. It’s another bubble. If you are a gold investor, tell me this: When are you going to take your profits? What are you waiting for? More bad news?
Finally, check out this week’s Carnival of Pecuniary Delights.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.