Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What is our Society Coming To? (Part 2 of 2 so far)

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I've been amazed, confounded, and a little nervous about the steep downhill descent our society seems have been on for the last few years, and especially the last few months.  Two and a half weeks ago, I wrote about a book and a movie that have sucked in many American women, and the affect that they could have on our culture, and how Christians can respond.  Thank you to those of you who commented on that entry!

Today I'd like to talk about another part of our society that isn't helping us.  Debt. It's no secret that our country is in over its head in debt.  Here's some facts for you.

Dave Ramsey compares the national budget crisis to a family budget:
If their household income was $55,000 per year, they’d actually be spending $96,500—$41,500 more than they made! That means they’re spending 175% of their annual income! So, in 2011 they’d add $41,500 of debt to their current credit card debt of $366,000!  source
That's a lot of money that our country doesn't have! But... it's not the national budget and debt load that I'm concerned about. Consumer debt is pretty common too. Ramsey is also famous for saying,"Don't keep up with the Joneses! They're broke!". We need to stop trying to out spend each other, and instead, challenge each other to live within our means, so that we can pay off our debts faster.

DH and I have been married for almost five years. When we got married, we had nearly $20,000 in student loans. At the beginning of our marriage, we were both working minimum wage jobs, and doing our best to make ends meet. I was laid off in 2008, and promptly got involved in full-time, online, ministry. So, now we're living on one income. Thanks to some raises, and a six-month stint with a different company, we've been able to live on just DH's income, while still making payments on the student loans. Last summer, we thought our car was on its last legs, so we took out a loan, and purchased a newer (used) car.  The car purchase set us back about two and a half years, in total debt load, but through diligent money management, we've been able to stay at a place where we should still be able to pay off both loans by their end dates!

My challenge to the American population would be to stop using your credit cards (cancel them, and cut them up!), and get out of debt ASAP!  Stop overspending your budget! Sure, this might actually hurt the economy a bit, when people stop buying the latest and greatest toys (Seriously, no one NEEDS a 42 inch TV bought on credit. :P), but in the long run, you will be able to pay cash for those fun purchases, and inject money back into the economy!


  1. Awesome post! Kurt often feels like other people must handle their money better then us because they have so much nice new stuff (like new cars / boats / etc) and I have to remind him that soooo often people aren't "affording" anything beyond the payment. We LOVE that we've been able to stay debt free other then our mortgage and there is SUCH a peace of mind with having relative control over your own financial future.

    1. Kristin, good for you for reminding your husband that the Joneses are broke! I'll agree with him that it sure can be frustrating watching other people enjoy all these nice things, but when we were still driving our old car, we used to laugh and say,"Hey, at least it's paid for!". We're looking forward to getting to that point with our "new" car. :)

  2. I love the quote you used: "Don't keep up with the Joneses! They're broke!" What a great reminder. It's also awesome how no matter what the difference between your expected income or expenses are in a month and what they actually end up being, God has a way of making ends meet.


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