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Americans And Debt: Do The Two Go Hand And Hand

Mar 25, 2008
Why are Americans Climbing Out of Debt?

We hear every day that Americans live beyond their means as a matter of course, needing to drive or wear the newest and best just because. And it's true that about 44% of Americans live with at least some "bad" debt such as credit card debt. While certain kinds of debt, such as student loan payments or mortgages, are actually "good" debt because they give you something for your money that's truly going to benefit you (such as an education or building up equity in your home), much of the debt that gives Americans trouble today is credit card debt or other "bad" debt for which they'll get nothing in return - and will likely pay whopping interest rates and charges on besides.

When you live paycheck to paycheck and and save for that rainy day or better yet your retirement it is no question that many Americans are living far outside their means. This kind of behavior is encouraged by American society. This is hard to believe but why?

American looks at several factors that determine economic growth in order to feel the economy as a whole is healthy. I am sure you are asking what is economic growth? Look right in your neighborhood, look in you city sure it is all around you. This could mean better jobs, people in general are working more so in short they are creating more money flow and in turn more purchases are being made. Many factors play into a healthy community but the most important factor is the amount of money being spent. To determine right away if the money spent is debt or earned look immediately at how this impacts you and your budget. In the overall scheme of things your money spent looks like growth but in your case it was actually debt. So it is very obvious that it is perceived as growth as a whole but your personal economy is not nearly as healthy as it was prior to that purchase and it has put a serious debt.

Developing a picture in regard to how financially healthy or sick the American economy is can be highly regarded as a selfless mirror in regard to the way the economy spends money and manages a budget and with that our budget shows overall.

With the national deficit being in excess of 12 trillion dollars Americans more than ever have less of of a role model on how to manage a budget. All be it the country could stand to go on a budget diet and so should you.

In the meantime, what can you do to rein in your own spending, if you need to? That's right. Put yourself on a budget, and if you're in debt, get out. This means swapping lattes at the corner shop for homemade coffee, putting a moratorium on buying new clothes until you've actually worn what you have in your closet, and paying off your present car and driving it for a few years instead of trading in for a new one every couple of years "just because". Of course, if you're rolling in dough, you don't have to do these things. But the fact is, most Americans aren't rolling in dough and to have to cut back on spending. So figure out what your basic needs are, take care of those, and cut back on the rest of your spending until you've got credit cards and other "frivolous debt" paid off.

Who knows? We just might provide a good example for the government if we all do our part as American citizens to be good role models.
About the Author
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