Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt
My mind often goes to the Great Depression era with words like today’s prompt. The people who endured that era, unless they were among the very wealthy, struggled to survive. And there were those among the very wealthy who lost it all in the stock market, and they often chose not to survive, but took their own lives, leaving their families to cope however they could.
One of the contributors to the Depression, and of course there were many layers of cause, was the popularity of buying on credit. The great discovery of being able to have nice things without paying right away swept the country. Of course, that house of cards came tumbling down when creditors would no longer wait for small monthly payments because they, too, were finding it hard to make ends meet.
The thing that amazes me is that people are still going into huge credit card debt, spending money they don’t have and won’t earn in a lifetime. Not only have they fallen prey to one credit card; most people have several, and they pay each one off with another card. That’s just craziness.
Yes, we have credit cards. However, we pay them off every month. We know what our income is, and we don’t spend money we know we don’t have. When you pay it off every month, you don’t have all the late fees and interest to pay.
Sometimes, people come to my counseling office with multiple issues. One of them is almost always money. One is a spender, the other a saver. Or they’re both spenders, and their credit card debt is sky high. They’re finally beginning to realize that paying the minimum payment every month puts them in credit jail for a lifetime. I’m not a financial advisor, and I don’t try to be. I refer them elsewhere for that kind of help. What I can do is try to figure out what’s behind the uncontrolled spending. There’s usually something there, an emptiness they’re trying to fill with expensive clothes, cars and so on.
We tried to teach our kids the 10-10-80 system. Ten percent of your pay is for spending; ten is for the Lord, and 80 goes into the bank. It took with some of them better than others 🙂
I guess, if I have a point this morning, that it would be a good thing for all of us to tighten our belts a bit. I believe America is in for some very hard times not too long from now. I had parents who taught me how to live on a shoestring. Many others don’t know how to do that. Now would be a good time to learn. What are some resources to help with that?
Old people like me. We’re all over the place. Those of us who were in the first wave of the Baby Boom had parents who grew up during the hardscrabble years after 1929, and our parents taught us well.