We Conspicuously Consume
“We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.” – Dave Ramsey.
This quote accurately sums up the way many of us live. The “keeping up with the Jones’s” mentality is the key component in the overspending problem we have as a nation. The media is manipulating us to buy their products. We see thousands of advertisements per day. This contributes to why so many of us are in debt. We buy things we simply don’t need.
We Don’t Save Money
As a society, we are terrible at saving money. This is related to commandment one. When the tide comes in we can see who’s been swimming naked. The average savings rate in America is at best 3-4%. This is a recipe for financial disaster. Life throws unexpected events at you, and if you’re not prepared, you may be in for a world of hurt.
We Go To College (for no reason)
I’m not anti college. College can be a useful tool for many people. I am against the idea that you must go to college for no apparent reason except for that someone else told you to. The student loan problem is getting out of hand. I predict a bubble bust similar to that of the housing market. These loans are being granted to anyone who applies, and many won’t be able to afford to pay them back.
We Remain Financially Illiterate
Money isn’t taught often in schools at any level. These institutions prepare us for career paths but do not prepare us for life itself. Many of us leave school with little to no financial education, which is the primary reason why many of us are so irresponsible with our finances. You can’t have what you don’t know. If you never learn how money works, how in the hell do you think you will be able to capture a large amount of it?
We Make Someone Else Rich
We are trained to be productive employees. Entrepreneurship is almost shunned by our education system. Conformity is the fuel that runs corporate America. We were taught from a very young age that the only real way to make a living was through a job, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m not saying that striking out on one’s own is for everyone, but I do believe there are some great products and ideas that have been stifled by a fear of risk taking. You can never become wealthy working for someone else.
We Borrow, Borrow, and Borrow some more
Instead of buying only what we can afford, many of us simply continue to borrow more money to pay for the things we desire. Throw in the interests rates coupled with this borrowing, and soon the things you think you own will end up owning you. Credit card debt is something that nearly all of us deal with, and the overuse of credit is a major problem that keeps many of us tied down.
We Don’t Learn
After formal education is done with, many of us cease to engage in a real learning process for the remainder of our lives. We are content to watch hours of television instead of picking up a book every once in a while. Intelligence solves problems. The more you learn the more you can potentially earn.