My Parents Never Spent More Than They Earned

I am not claiming they were never in debt – they were.  And they had their own hard times.  But they never entered into any contracts that they knew would cause them to spend more honoring the contract and paying for “life” then they earned in a single year.

They “borrowed” what they knew they could pay.  And they paid back everything they borrowed.

I can’t say that I have never owed more than I could repay – once, I did.  For a brief time.  But it’s been >2  years since I owed anything more than a house payment (ZERO down, 15 year note, fixed interest loan, thank you very much) and several years since I had a credit card.  I am seven years into the first home I ever bought and I own more of it than the bank does.  A few hundred extra dollars on the mortgage a months makes a difference.

If I still had a wallet full of credit cards I would never have been able to buy a home.  Credit cards make it easy to spend today’s dollars at tomorrow’s prices.  If you don;t understand the future value of money, you really should.  The goal is to save today’s dollar and cash in at tomorrow’s prices – instead, we do the opposite – and as a country we are failing.

And as some have said on Twitter and elsewhere, “Don’t blame us – it isn’t our fault.  They are showing a bright and shiny lure, and we cannot help but strike at it”.

The lack of personal responsibility in this nation now scares me.  Almost as much as the lack of personal privacy/rights.

But our Government spends more than they take in, as do many American’s.  And MANY businesses.  There are too few of us not living on credit to sustain the rest of you.

Be it Governement bailouts, or insurance subsidies to live on the coastal region or in a fault zone – too many of us are paying for the ways of others.  How is that fair?

To any of us?


  1. I wouldn’t dump on credit cards. My family uses one all the time. The trick is to pay it back at the end of each month. Then the cash back option kicks in. I regularly make 500-800 a year just on the cash back because we do everything through the credit card….

  2. @Ike – I here it all the time “The Government Should Pay For It”. SO many people don’t understand that WE are the Government. And that, I fear, will be the “Fall of Rome, take two”.

  3. Rob, our culture of responsibility is out of whack. Beyond immoral.

    We’re willing, as a society, to saddle our own children and grandchildren with massive debt. If we’re willing to do that to people we love, then imagine how much worse we do in spending the money of total strangers.

    Of course, when we “demand” services from the government, we never think of it in those terms. But essentially, we’re enabling an entity with the means and mission to extract the property of total strangers for our own fleeting convenience.

    It’s time to stop riding the political pendulum. Stop the world. I want to get off.