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Cities & Towns > Within My Means

Within My Means

The article published today by CNBC about consumer debt got me thinking about some things.

The Federal Reserve reports that consumer debt in America reached $4 trillion dollars this month.

10% of disposable income is being spent on non-mortgage debt.

So far, so good, but here's what got me. Average credit card balance: $4,293 at an average 17.41% interest rate.

Total credit debt? More than $1 trillion.

One-third of Americans fear they will max out their credit card when they make a large purchase WHICH MOST DEFINED AS BEING ANYTHING OVER $100!

The article was presented without any interpretation or application of the facts. I'm flabbergasted. Another article I read recently stated that 7 million Americans are at least 90 days delinquent on their vehicle loans!

Bear in mind that these facts reflect a trend that has held true throughout multiple administrations and multiple economic climates.

I think we need an education in American about living within our means.

Your thoughts below?

posted on Feb 21, 2019 12:31 PM ()


My car loan i had when I was working was definitely out of our means. When I lost my job i lost the car.
comment by elkhound on Feb 26, 2019 11:56 AM ()
That's some hard knocks right there.
reply by jerms on Mar 27, 2019 4:06 AM ()
It is horrifying that so many people are hooked by credit cards because the interest rate is so high. We learned this the hard way and although I use a credit card for most things because it gives me a spending record that little card is paid off every month. I have noticed that prices are creeping up and inflation is here. Basic economics should be taught in highschool.
comment by elderjane on Feb 22, 2019 6:23 AM ()
I keep reading that a recession is on the horizon. I hope not, but I know it's likely. I wanted to write something about teaching personal finance in school, but then I realized I don't know if they teach it or not. It would appear they don't.
reply by jerms on Feb 22, 2019 3:48 PM ()
I don't have first-hand knowledge of these big spenders. My evening was spent helping a friend find coupons for medication and discussing a free clinic he's going to.
comment by drmaus on Feb 21, 2019 7:06 PM ()
That is SO kind. Some folks live in a stark reality. Fortunately, your friend has you to brighten it!
reply by jerms on Feb 22, 2019 3:28 AM ()
It's hard work to live within our means - requires conscious decisions to do with less or even without something that seems important at the time, or it gets away from us. It's not glamorous or fun, that's for sure. And the more family members involved, if they're not all committed to it, the more difficult it is.
comment by traveltales on Feb 21, 2019 5:18 PM ()
This is true. It IS hard work and requires some sacrifices, but I think it is SO worth it. I regret that some of these principles don't seem to be taught in school. If they are, they don't seem to be sufficiently emphasized.
reply by jerms on Feb 21, 2019 6:23 PM ()
Fact: I declared bankruptcy twice
Fact: it took me 70 years to understand if you charge you have to pay
Fact: It took me just as long to learn NOT to spend that will be coming in before it comes in
Fact: I can live very nicely with less than a $1,000 a month income without a car!
Fact "held true throughout multiple administrations and multiple economic climates." and always ended in a recession, some worse than others
FACT: IF we learn from history--we are heading for a VERY rough period financially for 99% of the population.
comment by greatmartin on Feb 21, 2019 1:00 PM ()
That last FACT is exactly what the article pointed out! He wrote that non-mortgage debt spending was at 13% of disposable income before the Great Recession.
I'm grateful for the lessons I've learned, even in the School of Hard Knocks!
reply by jerms on Feb 21, 2019 6:21 PM ()
I am horribly guilty of not living within my means. I need to do better
comment by kristilyn3 on Feb 21, 2019 12:42 PM ()
Oh, now don't start confessing!! The numbers flabbergast me.
reply by jerms on Feb 21, 2019 12:46 PM ()

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