Debt after debt, people should learn what they can afford

United States
May 11, 2012 11:23pm CST
There is one way I see average American shopping without actual cash, they usually use credit cards, or probably sign up with the in - store credit card, which might provide convenient payment option of 6 months interest - free offer, and after that period of time, if you can't pay them all, you will be hit with a high interest card payment each month. Some people just won't worry about, they simply sign up with the in - store card, and take whatever they intend to buy home, especially electronics, or big screen TV for instance. Debt pile up after another, I just wonder would this lifestyle is worth it? Or whether that is traditional way of living that embedded in majority of American lifestyle? Would we learn to what we can afford, and what we can not?
1 person likes this
15 responses
• Canada
15 May 12
That's because people think they will get ahead, when really they are taking 1 step forward 3 steps back. No one thinks about their future finances... It's such a shame.
• United States
13 May 12
I used to pay my bills on time and in full until randy had starting having medical problems. randy is now unable to work and right now I am staying home with him until he gets his disabilty and his doctors appointments decrease. I am a student (an online graduate student working towards a second Master's Degree) and am hoping that once I obtain my degrees I can open my own preschool from my home. I have also known people who are in debt and keep on making more debt. My parents are famous for that and now that we are living here until Randy can collect social security and I can start selling my crafts online so we can move out. My parents expect us to pay their bills for them which is hard because we barely have any money as it is and whenever I do have extra I try to stash it away. I get financial aid money and most of that will go into savings (we had some in there, but sadly we needed a newer used car). It does drive me crazy when people spend money on things they do not need. I knew of a couple who was behind on their credit card bills and their heating bill (they lived in Idaho where it snows) and they had spent their tax return check on a big screen tv. If it were me I would have caught up on the heat bill and paid my credit card bills. I may have taken a few dollars out and treated Randy and I to dinner.
@chicgale (2982)
• Philippines
13 May 12
yeah that's true. i don't have a credit card and I am glad. hehehhe
@much2say (38670)
• United States
13 May 12
I fell into the credit card habit in my early 20's . . . but luckily I got into a great debt management program that got me to get rid of my debt in about 4 years. According to them, my debt wasn't really that much. But my parent in laws are in deep, deep debt - not just with credit cards but with a bunch of other poor financial decisions they have made. The credit cards just did not help - if they needed anything, they pulled out the plastic. They never learned to live within their means - not think of their retirement. So now they are about to lose everything including their house - seriously. My mother in law still doesn't understand this entirely and she still continues to shop - it's really a sad situation.
@Dominique25 (9476)
• United States
12 May 12
I agree with you. There are so many people who are up to their eye balls in debt. It is so sad. It will take them a long time to pay off all that debt. They are often left to working a whole lot of hours/overtime,etc just to pay off their debt. It is best that we learn to live within our means. I don't think that type of lifestyle is worth it but don't have the latest and newest of things. But I also know I'm not in a whole lot of debt from credit cards either. I like my life this way better.
@megamatt (14332)
• United States
12 May 12
It is very tempting to make a great deal of purchases, for the status of having nice things. Of course, status of having nice things rather mean little when you are racked in a crippling and obscene amount of debt. Really, one of the worst things that anyone on a budget can really get is a credit card. Sure it really is just going to seem like it is a great idea to buy this and that. However, when people make one purchase, they don't draw the line more often than not with those purchases. They just keep really making purchase after purchase in their attempt to really pad what their status. It is a lifestyle that continues to baffle me, why people think that money is some kind of poison that they need to unload as soon as they get it. Or really purchase things that they have no money at all.
@elmiko (6640)
• United States
12 May 12
no, i don't think is worth it at all. it can at times be a trap that predatory lenders use for people who are naive about the terms and conditions. credit cards for the most part are no path to financial freedom. really there only good if you already have alot of money since they do offer rewards.
@MandaLee (3691)
• United States
12 May 12
Hi Kingparker, I completely agree. Living in debt is stressful and not worth it. I pay my bills on time, and sometimes I like to pay them early. I think it is so important for Americans to live within their means. The jury is still out on whether or not we are capable of learning to do so.
@jkct02 (2859)
• Malaysia
12 May 12
Credit cards is a good tool with proper usage - Credit card is a good tool with proper usage.
We all know that we should not spend more than what we can earn. The word 'spend' here means we use the money for something that is more for leisure or pleasure. Why are there people who indulge in their materialistic desires with money that they don't actually have now or in the near future when the time comes for them to pay? It is a fact that a lot of people who are not knowledgeable at all in financial planning. It is something we must deal with when there is still time - it is a subject that needs to be taught in the school to students as early as it is viable. It is to prepare them to cope with the reality of their financial life when they start to work later in their life. Credit card is just like anything that we have invented - it is meant to help us but if we misuse it then it becomes harmful to us instead. Having a credit card will take away the trouble to have to carry large sums of cash on the unsafe streets. It is also a kind of ready-to-use credit line in times of emergency. We can earn reward points with our credit card usage. With the 6 months of free-credit period, the cash that is supposed to use to pay for it can be put in a 6 month bank deposit to earn interest. As long as we pay up ALL the card expenses we owe, we don't incur interest charges or any fees at all for the card we use. Self-control and good planing is the key to prevent us from falling into a financial avalanche.
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
12 May 12
Well it depends on the debt you are talking about. I have no credit card debt though I admit to once having a credit card. I was 18 and I had a steady income until I couldn't work due to medical problems then of course the credit card debt went up before I paid it off. When it comes to college and student loans, I think people need to take something they can find a job in to pay back their student loans. Following your dreams isn't going to pay them back and I don't think people realize that. I have student loans and I am paying off interest while I go for my degree and I keep applying for scholarships not getting much but anything helps when I do win them. It's all about understanding that kind of debt. As for things people can't afford, it depends on them. I wont get a credit card or if I do it will be one I put my own money into and use it to fix my credit while not over doing it. I have rented to own everything from appliances to video game systems though I wish they reported constant on time payments to the credit bureaus. The people that just keep collecting debt for no reason should really look at other options to avoid it.
@ARIES1973 (9535)
• Legaspi, Philippines
12 May 12
Hi kingparker! I have my own credit card at present but I see to it that I monitored my purchases using this one. Although I know that I can buy anything without using cash for the meantime, I know that I have to pay it eventually. I don't buy what I can not afford. It still depends on how we prioritize our needs.
@almond24 (1250)
• Hungary
12 May 12
I don't really understand this. I don't have a credit card because here you need to meet very high expectations, stable income etc. to be able to get one. I made my biggest mistake in my life by getting student loan, so there is no way I'm planning to get in debt again. I don't want to spend money that I don't have.
• United States
12 May 12
I think credit cards get a bad reputation. People need to be more financially responsible. I actually love credit cards. I am just aware of my finances. Just because you can charge it, doesn't mean you can afford it. The smart thing to do is to only buy what you afford, using your credit card as much as you can, so you can earn the bonus points to gain rewards. At the end of the month you pay off everything. This builds your credit score and lets you get free rewards cards.
• India
12 May 12
I have many people around of who used to make use of credit card to buy the items for the house. Most of the are financially poor but still people buy a lot of materials which cannot be afforded by their income. Yet their is little low people tend to buy a lot of electronic as well as other items. I do not know how do they pay it later. For the first six month they are free from intrests but i wonder what they will do after it. Will they able to pay it. This is the one of the reason why i do not shop using the cases. I used to shop with the ready cash and i feel this is far better than making use of cards.
• United States
12 May 12
This happened to me with my credit card. I was paying the whole bill and lost half my income and now make smaller payments and have a high rate. But,the good thing is I don't plan to ever use the card again and will be making higher payments starting next month. so,I will pay it off faster and cut the card up and send it back to them. I want no more cards just cash and carry from now on.