Saturday, July 18, 2009

Debt is normal. Be weird!

The title of this blog post seems attributed to Dave Ramsey thanks to the bumper stickers he sells, but I'm not sure he didn't lift it from somewhere else. My good friends, Matt and Angie, have this sticker on one of their vehicles, and I've always loved it.

I know on the surface that staying out of debt is important, but I've never really thought about how truly important it is. My wife and I had some very significant (to us, anyway) credit card debt at one point. We managed to get it mostly under control when a life altering event meant never having to worry about that kind of thing again. But I still vividly remember what it was like. I'd like to think had my event not occurred that I would have still found a way to get on the good side of the debt curve, but I'm not totally convinced of it. At any rate, what I do know is that most Americans aren't convinced of the importance or we wouldn't have a lot of the economic situations that exist today.

I implore every hard working person to take an hour of your time to watch this video:

I want to thank Sarah Street for turning me on to Elizabeth Warren. It's a shame that it takes a law professor turned statistician and researcher who happens to be a good public speaker almost an hour to articulate this kind of data properly, or more people might get the message. And you can skip straight to minute five and miss the introduction if you're time sensitive. Watch at least ten minutes and you'll find a way to watch the rest even if it is in pieces. It's well worth it.


Mike Wangsmo said...

If you really want to be scared, listen to what former GAO comptroller David Walker has to say on the topic. If anyone ought to know where the US debt is leading us, the person responsible for auditing it is a good candidate.

Lima Bean said...

we'd like one of those life-altering events to happen to us, please.

no really, we're also doing our best to stay out of debt (consumer anyway--house and school are kind of unavoidable at this point) and it's amazing how liberating and freeing it really is.

Lady Holiday said...

My brother pays $500 a month just in finance charges and minimum payments on his credit cards. He could be investing that money, but instead its going nowhere and his debt isn't shrinking. I don't understand how he can live with that. I've got a lot of student loans, but I feel really really happy and burden-free to have no credit card debt!

jeepmama said...

Glad you like my sticker, man! I totally believe in it. It doesn't always take a life-altering event, though they are nice! Hard work and patience can go a long way with paying down...and staying away from...debt.