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The Saving Deficit in America

By Erik Folgate

USA Today reported that in the month of January the average household spent $575.00 OVER their budget.  This means that they spent way more money than they had coming in.  Not only is America increasingly spending more money, they are saving less.  Spending is only healthy for an economy when they are saving money at the same time.  The article revealed that many economists are not worried about the spending deficit.  I think they are idiots.  Just because they are economists does not mean that they don’t go out and buy a 50″ plasma television on the 29% Best Buy credit card.  When the average household is spending hundreds of dollars over budget every month, that worries me. 

The most frustrating part is that I am only one person, and there are tons of financial people out there who think debt is not the problem.  I still hear and read from financial experts that debt is a tool, debt is your friend if you know how to use it right.  How?  Debt makes me feel like a slave.  I am a slave to the lender.  They have all of the power.  As soon as I faulter, they can SNATCH whatever they want away from me.  Do you want to live in slavery your whole life for the sake of living in a $400,000 house with an interest only loan and driving a lexus?  Or would you rather retire in a paid-for house with a toyota camry and enough money to do all of the traveling that you ever dreamed of?  It is something to think about.  My challenge to you is not to hate your friend who works for the credit card company.  My challenge to you is to delay pleasure so that your life can be pleasurable later on.  We live in a culture that wants it our way right away.  In the next 7 days, try to make one decision that delays your impulsive urges to have something pleasurable.  If you love food, what would be more pleasurable to you…spending 20 dollars on 20 cheeseburgers, or spending 20 dollars on one nice, juicy steak?  I would take the steak any day. 


Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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