Everyday, on our way to work, in our homes, on our radios, and on our TV’s we are constantly being bombarded with adverts of all the things we must have. With the latest and greatest in technology, we can’t escape these ads, they are even left as text messages on our cell phones.
If that wasn’t enough, we are then bombarded with ads for zero interest credit cards, credit lines, how to get easy credit. We have graduated into a society of “things”. If you think back to the last generation, people owned their cars for at least 6 or 7 years, and they usually had one. They bought a TV every ten years and there wasn’t much in the way of “easy credit”. You pretty well had to do back flips at a bank, trying to convince them how good you were. My mother used to relate it to a “audition” when trying to convince a bank, you needed a car loan.
I am not saying we have to go backwards, but I really do think we have to make enough money to justify some of our purchases. With some of the “easy credit” that you can get now, right in the stores, it is hard to refuse. They don’t seem to consider your income, or your expenses when purchasing items with store credit, they usually just ask for your license number and go from there. Everything is labeled with a “monthly payment amount” to sound cheap and affordable. Meanwhile, the payments can go on for years or end up on the “never never plan” as my Dad called those types of minimum payment loans. The TV could be long gone before you are finished paying for it.!
You can easily get yourself in trouble with credit, its readily available, and society seems to accept that it is normal to have credit card debt. This has actually triggered another booming business, and that is books, CD, DVD’s, and TV shows on how to get out of debt.
We are now having to work longer hours, or even second jobs to be able to pay for this extra credit, that only a generation ago, we would not have got. No longer are we looking at our income as a tape measure for how much debt we can allow ourselves, and some people are just walking away from it, as bankruptcy is at an all time high.
For society to survive and understand all of this, finance and money skills should be taught in school. Our kids should be taught how to save for the items they really want, and that easy credit, is not always easy. The first turn in the economy and all of society will feel the pinch from their creditors.. As a society, we have to find balance in our lives. If that means going without some of those “must haves” then maybe that should be the way it is.
Society has got used to this idea, that we should have everything we want right now, and we are paying the price for it now AND later.