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American Version Of Debt Management

Sep 12, 2008
The American version of debt management seems to be buy now, pay later, or worry about it later. Instant gratification has replaced save for a rainy day as the watch word for Americans regarding their money. There is an old saying that When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. When you are taking control of your finances, that old saying applies. The sooner that you can get control, the financial hole that you have to climb out of will not be as deep.

Most American households do not have savings. They simply live paycheck to paycheck. They pay what has to be paid this week, balance the checkbook, and decide how to blow what is left and those are the responsible ones.

The irresponsible ones get a paycheck, do what they want to do, buy what they want to buy, and if there is anything left, they use it to pay the bill that is most pressing at the moment. Neither method could be called responsible debt management or sound financial planning by any stretch of the imagination.

Saving money is rapidly becoming a lost art form in America. In a recent study, only 41% of all American households actually had savings accounts, but 75% of all American households are carrying substantial debt.

This is certainly not the kind of money management that our grandparents would have approved of. There was a time when being in debt was a shameful thing but that idea went the way of the Model A, apparently.

Declaring bankruptcy became so easy and so many people were taking advantage of it, that Congress finally had to make it more difficult. Debt management businesses are thriving, and you can not turn on the TV without seeing an advertisement for debt consolidation loans.

Start saving money. All this requires is a trip by the payroll department where you work.
Even if you start by having only a few dollars taken out of each paycheck and saved for you, it will be a beginning that you can build on. Think of saving as paying yourself first. Avoid all impulse buying.

When you go to the grocery store, take a list, and stick to what is on the list. Don't look left or right at the checkout stand. Use cash to pay for groceries rather than a check. Avoid all impulse buying. When you go to the grocery store, take a list, and stick to what is on the list. Don't look left or right at the checkout stand. Use cash to pay for groceries rather than a check.

Americans need to return to the sound financial practices of the past, like save first. American mothers and fathers need to instill the basics of debt management into their young ones. American high schools need to require that a course in financial planning and debt management be successfully completed before a diploma is awarded.
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Obinna Heche. Los Angeles - California

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