Who Is to Blame for America's Economy?

Who’s to Blame?

The nightly news tells us the dire circumstances our country’s financial state is in, and there always seems to be someone pointing a finger. “It’s Bush’s fault!” “It’s Obama ’s fault!” “It’s Wall Street’s Fault!” Sure, all of these are factors, but have we stopped to look at the choices we have made with our finances? Dare I say it? Could it be our fault for much of the financial problems?



Debt by Choice

There are very few people who do not have debt- be it mortgages, car loans, or credit cards that need to be paid off, most have something that is siphoning out their bank account. During the 1990s we had great interest rates, so many of us bought, bought, bought. Yes, there should have been better regulatory laws, but then someone would have been shouting, “Get the government out of our choice to spend!” Did we buy what we needed or did we buy what we wanted?

Going Without or Not…

My mother and grandparents lived during the Depression and really knew what it meant to be poor and frugal. Choices of survival had to be made. Now, we see people who have lived their lives in the red lose everything, yet they still want more. It seems there is an “easy” way to cash on every corner, but again, there is a price to pay for that easy money. Maybe it is your car title or a large interest fee if it is not paid off in time.


Tips for Getting Out and Staying Out of Debt

Here are some tips for either saving yourself financial hardships down the road or to helping you pull yourself out of the hole:

1. Learn how to say no to yourself.

We are a spoiled generation. We see the lap of luxury on TV. We look at what our neighbors have. We put our wants above our needs. For example, we must ask ourselves, “Do I really need this new car?” Then we need to think about what we actually have and how it will fit into our financial plan. “No, I want the new car, but I don’t need it.” We must stop letting our irrational passions outweigh our common sense.

2. We must also learn how to say no to our children.


Consider what you are setting them up for in the real world. Do you want your child or children living with you and off you during their adult lives, or do you want them to stand on their own? Say no while teaching them the difference between “want” and “need.” Most of us are not born with a silver spoon in our mouths and have had to earn our way. We must teach our children they must earn their way too. Teaching them that they are "entitled" to whatever they want is going to be their generation's downfall. Do not contribute to it.

3. Do not try to keep up with the Joneses.

We think we have to have what others have, and we run ourselves into debt so we can appear to be just as good as others. Keeping up appearances is eventually going to come back and turn ugly. We don’t have to have everything that we perceive others have. It is sad to see how many people have lost their homes, cars, and jobs. The more they had borrowed, the bigger the fall.

4. Save as much as you can.

Saving money and teaching your children to save money is always a good thing, but it is not always an easy thing to do. Make a budget and include savings. When I was first married, we had to budget every penny as we lived paycheck to paycheck. We would save five to ten dollars a paycheck. It does not sound like a lot, but it did add up and it was sworn to be off limits. Also, in our checkbook, we would round down any change and hide it in our checking account. This helped keep the overdrafts from coming in. Later, as we started our careers, we started saving more. Always have a cushion no matter how small or how large.


5. Try to pay a little extra on your mortgage, car loan, and/or credit cards.


Paying even five dollars more helps you from having interest charged to those few extra dollars. It does help whittle your debt down, even if only seems a little at a time. Each time you pay above the minimal, you make a dent that eventually starts turning into a chunk of saved money on your end.

6. Do not be ashamed of downsizing.


So what if your house is not as big as your best friend’s. Keeping your head above the constant suction of debt is going to make you happier and healthier in the long run.


7. Live within your means.


I am glad my mother and grandparents lived during the Depression because they passed on some valuable lessons. Many I have had to learn the hard way because of superficial “want,” but many I have benefited from by knowing how to save. Their generation rarely bought anything if they did not have the cash for it. If they had to go without, they went without. My grandparents were very comfortable in their old age and actually had the money for financial planning. They lived frugally and loved generously. My mother did not have much in her old age, but she managed every cent and was beholden to no one. Either way, that is what I want for myself and my children.



So, Who is to Blame?

We may not be able to control Washington or Wall Street, but we can take responsibility for our own finances. We may be digging ourselves out of a hole, or we may be one of the lucky ones who did not get hurt when the bottom dropped out. It is never too late to start. It may be discouraging, but it will pay off if we all try to live within our means and say “no” to ourselves.

Ironically, I notice that some of the ads for this article are for "easy loans" and "quick cash." I may be shooting myself in the foot, but these are the types of "easy money" loans that have created some of the personal problems and lack of financial discipline. If it is too good to be true, chances are it is not true.

© 2011 Susan Holland

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Comments 78 comments

Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 5 years ago from New York

Sound advice. I fully agree with you. Many of us ignore the most important rule of borrowing: “NEVER borrow to buy something that will be consumed BEFORE you pay off the debt.” So many are accumulating additional principle and interest for purchases of goods and services that are long gone. Good hub, Q.


your cybersister profile image

your cybersister 5 years ago from Just relocated from Florida to the mountains of North Carolina

I am one of those people who learned not from my parents, but from an ex-husband, the joys of instant gratification. I tried to resist, due to my upbringing, but every time I saved he spent it anyway, so eventually I succumbed. Years went by, we charged and charged, and then he hit mid-life crisis and left. Unfortunately, all the charge cards we had were in my name (I was the one with the established credit when we married) and I was left with $38,000 in credit card debt!! When he left, he took the larger income with him and there was no way I could keep up with the payments. It killed not only my credit score, but my independence and my self-esteem as well. My parents eventually bailed me out (I think I will be repaying them until I die) but I NEVER want to have a charge card again. Eventually, I remarried, to a man who had had his own financial disaster and recovery. He also dislikes credit card debt now (although he still has a couple of charge cards). We have each learned our independent lesson. I use cash, my debit card, or layaway and feel much better for it. I don't have as much stuff, but, amazingly, I find I don't want as much stuff either. Our house is paid for, our cars are paid for, and that feels great.

Yes, the credit card companies and mortgage companies made it easy for us to bite off more than we could chew,but ultimately we are the ones who not only took the bite, but then chewed it swallowed it, and came back for more. When I say "we" I mean most of us who are or were choking on financial debt.

A wonderful and timely hub!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Q! You are so right about charging for things that don't last. I have been guilty of that myself.

Cybersister, WOW! It sounds like your first husband did leave you in a mess. My husband and I were very young when we got married - I was 18 and he was 20. We wanted to establish our credit, so we got a Famous Barr charge card. The really bad thing was that it could also be linked to Venture (a discount store). We would get peanut butter and jelly and Copehagen (my husband chews). Finally, I showed him the bills and complained that we were paying for things that were nearly automatically GONE, yet we had the credit card bill still charging us, at that time, 22% interest - which is exactly what Q was stating above. It took years, but we finally got it paid off. We learned the hard way what was necessary and what was not. Now, we are like you: cash or debit. If we use a credit card, we pay it off as soon as we get the bill. We do not buy it unless we know we can pay it off. It is a very satisfied feeling to have no big debt looming over our heads.


Wil C profile image

Wil C 5 years ago from United States of America

I agree that people need to be more financially responsible. However, the corporations that enjoy the fruits of the nations labor must be forced to pay their fair share. If they feel like they can bully the little guy, they are sadly mistaken. People are becoming more aware by the minute to the nature of how these corporations operate. Take, take and take without giving back to the nation that allows them their bounty. They will not be overlooked.


GNelson profile image

GNelson 5 years ago from Florida

Good advice. You could do all of that and still end up with a house that is dropping in value. If you or I had done what those on wall street did we would be in jail. Same with some bankers. As I said the advice in your hub is great but those responsible for the recession are not even charged with a crime, but we did bail them out with tax dollars.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

There is no doubt that there is corruption in parts of the business world and some wrong decisions being made in Washington. My point is that we can only control our own financial decisions. Those who have created a grander scale of financial disaster will eventually pay for it - one way or another.


Wil C profile image

Wil C 5 years ago from United States of America

I agree that we can control our own financial decisions. That is obvious. But the corruption in Washington makes it much tougher to balance our budgets. They want to wave their fingers at us and tell us to be more frugal and more austere. I say, pay your share. As far as the grander scale is concerned, our leaders have put us in that position. Devalueing our dollar and inflating our economy has put even the most disciplined conservatives on their heels.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

I do not believe that personal financial responsibility was or is obvious. No where did I say that Washington and Big Business were not at fault. My point is that we are not controlled by our government, and we cannot blame all of our financial hardships on them when we are out spending money "like we have it." This article is about the people and our control. We can't easily fix the big institutions, but we can fix much of our personal spending with discipline during these hard times.


taskeinc profile image

taskeinc 5 years ago from Atlanta

Saying no to yourself, and no to your children .. very sound advise .. thanks for sharing your insight.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thank you, Taskeinc! Some things we can't produce an easy fix, but controling our spending is a start - maybe not so easy, but a start. :-)


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan

Excellent thoughts and tips. This hub is very straightforward. I do understand where you are coming from, and if we don't teach our children to live within their means, we will be in even bigger trouble.

Glad to meet you on HubPages!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Nice to meet you, too, Treasures!! Thanks for commenting and for your nice message.

I do worry about our future. So many material things wanted but no money to pay for them. We need to try to live within our means so our kids will be able to be independent when they step into the adult world. :-)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

I think you have made some excellent suggestions. It is important to live within your means. For instance, a starter house should not cost $300,000+. Being realistic about what you can afford will give you much peace of mind. Very useful hub.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Pamela! I know our starter home was a small house that we could afford. We were both professionals and could have chosen to live pay check to pay check, but we decided that was not the best choice for our future. Besides, we already went through that when we were newly married and very poor. :-) Thanks for dropping by!!


VeraMaya 5 years ago

This is a very good list, but in my opinion it does not address the root of the problem. I agree that people should be more financially responsible, but this is a very middle class/one sided view. What about the people who start off with nothing and are limited by societal boundaries? Also there are many people who are graduating from college with loans. This would not be a problem if the rate of unemployment wasn't so high and they could work towards paying them back. This is the situation that my generation now faces, and the reason why I am in support of the occupy movement. I have followed all of these rules, and attempted to bring myself out of the poverty that I was born into. My hard work now seems futile, and my college degree useless because the economic structure of this nation is failing.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

VeraMaya, I must disagree with you on the point of view you think I am taking. It is because I came from poverty and had many societal limitations placed on me at an early age that I feel this way about being personally responsible. It is written, though, to those who feel entitled or as if they are deserving of something so they take it on credit that they are maxing out. I started college in 1988 and did not pay my loans off until 2004, so I know how that feels, too. It sounds like your road is very similar to mine. Hang in there and spend wisely. :-) Your hard work is not futile. I wish you the best. Take care and thanks for dropping by!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

YES YES YES!!! Finally someone in finance says what to me is The Truth. We can blame everyone outside ourselves, and generally do. But bottom line? We are the ones who wrote the debt. We are the ones who had to put our kids in designer jeans. We are the ones who bought the advertising message that bigger is better and more is... more!

I take full responsibility for the mess my family is currently in, being unemployed and in debt. I was a lousy Mom who set her kids up to think they deserved the best. Well, they do deserve the best, but in fact, they deserve the best peace of mind earned by saving and not valuing material goods over personal responsibility.

Oh you hit the arcade bunny and get the prize for this enlightened hub, sholland10. Thank you so so much for breathing fresh air into the Holy America of Entitlements Church. Voted up, interesting and awesome!

Now how do I climb out of this mess, haha. (I am working your principles, I promise.) It is not too late.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Storytellersrus,

Thanks for your response. I take no pleasure in pointing fingers of blame, but where I live, we have the huge houses sitting empty now. I remember when they were built and "oooo'ed and awwww'ed" over them, and wondered who in the world in this area can afford them - even out of our doctors and lawyers. Turns out, they were trying to keep up with their prestigious titles, yet living from pay check to pay check - which for some is was a lot of money then it turned into living beyond what they made. I am sad for those who are having financial problems, but I do believe we can live within our means.

I totally get wanting our kids to have the "best." I am guilty, too, but I am finding that giving them the best things does not teach them the deeper, more valuable (best) lessons in life on how to live selflessly rather than selfishly - I take the blame. I had them and I taught them that. Now I am trying to go back and reteach, but they are 25 and 18, and I created some tough habits for them to break. Practicing tough love is the only way I know how to do it (while feeling like a heel at the same time, which is my punishment). I will say that introducing them to resale shops has really been a good thing since they are spending their own money now and not mine. ;-)

Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way and hope things get better. Keep writing! Maybe you can win a Pulitzer!! Wouldn't that be a dream come true? :-)

So glad you dropped by and shared!

Susan


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Susan, you are shouting from the mountain tops as far as my life goes. My kids are 25, 23, 20 (almost). We come from similar mindsets as parents!

We have lived in the same house for 23 years, which is a lifesaver and also provides stability. My eldest introduced us to Goodwill last summer, haha. She worked at a resale shop in NYC and she figured all this out on her own. Now when I need something, the first place I go is Goodwill- or Salvation Army. Who would have thought. When they built those stores, my snobbish reaction was, "There goes the neighborhood!" Although growing up, I bought all their lovely dresses at a children's consignment shop or TJ Maax, I thought these stores were for the desperately poor, i.e., "I will never shop there."

I have learned the hard way in my life- whenever I say "never", God opens a window! I guess my lesson this go around is that I am not better than anyone else. In fact, I have been regularly humbled. For example, I thought I knew the Old Testament well. But yesterday, I was asked what happened to Abraham's other sons. "What other sons?" Turns out he had 6 more by his concubine wife, Ketura- probably after Sarai died. What the heck!

Certainly life is a constant learning experience. A Pulitzer? I will never earn one of those. But I have to admit, when I say never in certain contexts, it is more wistful thinking than judgment. It never works the way my never proclamations do.

Thanks for your positive thoughts! I'm wrapping myself in their light. Barb


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

I came from home-sewn clothes, and the beginning of school and maybe Christmas meant new clothes. My children probably got something once a month if not more often. Trying to reteach has been a challenge, but the resale shops like Good Will and Salvation Army are wonderful! :-)


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

My mom sewed all my clothes also! She made us something new for the first day of school, Christmas and Easter- and maybe our birthdays. Also, Homecoming and Prom dresses. I remember every store bought dress I received. Especially the beautiful lace dress she splurged on for Confirmation. It was an amazing dress and I can see it in stark detail to this day! I still can't believe she bought it. I think it was on sale.

I kept up the tradition with my kids, adding something green for St. Pats and red for Valentine's day. I just ordered a navy jacket for my son to use in his valet job and what I thought was expensive turned out to be the cheapest option by far. Prices are so inflated!!!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

I didn't keep the tradition up with my kids. My mother passed out all the creative genes to the 7 kids before me. LOL Yes, prices are inflated!


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America

Very nicely written hub. I'll agree with almost everything you said. And one of the problems with the financial decline of this country is the people themselves. They place blame on others for their hardship without self evaluating their own actions. Responsibility and accountability are severely lacking, on an individual level, business level and government level. :) Voted up!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Cagsil. There is lots of blame to go around, but I think we have to start with ourselves. Where I live there are these huge, empty homes that I wondered when they were built how anyone in this area could afford them. I guess they lived way outside of their means because many of those houses are empty. I hate that for people, but if you make enough money to qualify for a huge house, it is coming down to luxury and not necessity or practicallity. We all like nice things, but we have to see our limits.

Thanks for dropping by, reading, voting, and once again, reading my rant... LOL It just gets to me.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa

I quite understand where you are coming from in addressing peoples self inflicted debts.

This is quite a subject for me having seen far too many people in financial trouble of their own doing.

My husband and I only bought luxury items if we could pay cash and I attribute this to our overall success in the years that followed.

Clearly, the media is much to blame but more so to those who are weak enough to be influenced by such.

Materialism is futile in the end!

You have my support!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

I agree with you Susan. Americans can do so much more to change the current status in the United States if they used their own hard earned money wisley and use it as a voice to send a message to greedy companies and the like. Well done!!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

This is all great sound advice. I fully agree with and practice everything you say here. If everyone learned how to do this, including our politicians, the economy wouldn't be in the trouble it is today.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California

sholland!!!! Fabulous Hub! Unfortunately I grew up in a household where there was no dicipline unless it was forced upon us because my dad had no work, etc. But when there was money, it was spent. I had to learn on my own to be frugal. Sometimes I am really good with it and then other times.. I buy buy buy! Your tips are awesome. Having been a bookkeeper for two major companies, I was able to teach myself what and what not to do. We all need to be frugal and spend within our means. The government really doesn't care about us on a personal level. If they did, our country wouldn't be so far in debt. It is up to us as individuals to take care of our own business and put our homes in order. Voted up and VERY useful!

Lisa ~RusticLiving


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

LadyLyell, you are so right, materialism is futile, especially when you could lose everything. I am the same, no luxury items unless they fit into the budget and can be paid for. I refuse to live pay check to pay check. Rather to live comfortably than to constantly worry about going under and losing everything.

Thanks so much for dropping by, reading, and commenting!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Tammy! It really is about personal responsibility, not to take any of the blame from the the crooks who lure people in. If it is too good to be true, step back and rethink it because it probably isn't true. I can understand being fooled, but we have to be responsible for wise decisions. Even then it may be taking a chance.

Thanks so much for dropping by, reading, and commenting!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Millionaire Tips, yes, our greedy politicians on both sides need to step out of their lovely homes and come live like the middle class - we have to watch our money and rely on ourselves. They need their under-the-table perks taken away. If they are going to represent us, be one of us.

Thanks for dropping by, reading, and commenting!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Lisa, I grew up in a single parent home, and we lived from week to week with every penny budgeted. I am glad my mother and grandparents lived through the Depression because they passed their wisdom down to the rest of the family. Being frugal isn't always easy, but it is wise. :-)

Yep, we can't rely on our politicians to have our best interests at heart. We have to look out for ourselves and try to vote for whom we think is going to be the best person... So far, even that hasn't worked. Greed is rampant and "want" and entitlement are growing in our government and our country. Personal responsibility must be exercised to protect ourselves.

Thanks so much for dropping by, reading, commenting, and voting!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I think it's pretty much us -- not only because of our debt-spending habits, but we elected the officials that allowed the shenanigans to go on, and we patronized the institutions that caused many of the problems. If you can, watch "Maxxed Out," a documentary on credit. It was made in 2005 and was scarily prescient about our current financial crisis. Voting this Up and Interesting.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Alocsin, I will try to find the documentary. We do have to take care of ourselves because others aren't going to do it for us.

Thanks so much for dropping by, commenting, and voting!


anjperez profile image

anjperez 4 years ago

you are right, sholland10. self regulation should be foremost in everyone's mind. even the government. even in Alan Greenspan's prolific career, when the financial crisis broke out, he admitted that regulation should have been in place despite advocating for a free market system.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, AnjPerez! We must protect ourselves. I'm not sure anyone else is looking out for us.

Thanks for dropping by, reading, and commenting!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

Everything you have shared rings true. We as a society often want more ... and give it to me now! If we don't make some minor adjustments, we will be forced to make some major ones,


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

HSB, yes, we need to make adjustments and on a whole quit being so spoiled. We have so many privileges, which I believe in and love, but we have to treat them with responsibility not entitlement.

Thanks for dropping by, reading, and commenting!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I take the blame. I refuse to spend money unless absolutely necessary. My daddy taught me well:)


American View profile image

American View 4 years ago from Plano, Texas

Great article with great,sound advise. But in the end it is my parents(the ones I grew up with) fault. See they took the wrong baby(me) home from the hospital. They took me by mistake. My real parents were these extremely loaded people and I was looking forward to go home with them. Not sure what happened, it's still a mystery today.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Linda, that is what my mother taught me too. We are truly blessed. :-)

Thanks for dropping by, reading, and commenting!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

LOL AV, you must have been destined to be like most of the rest of us. Darn dirty deal if you ask me. ;-) LOL

Thanks for dropping by, reading, commenting, and making me laugh! :D


Born2care2001 profile image

Born2care2001 4 years ago from Asheville NC

sholland10

Oh Yeah!!! I know there are many others out there who have experienced this, but I have learned that what I have is what I need and I am content with it. That's not always how I feel and I am guilty of irresponsibility and ignorance. No excuse, just fact. I contributed to this mess and I am truly sorry.

I did learn the lesson and so will we as a nation. My transition wasn't without pain and sacrifice and our recovery won't be without changes either, but we too, will learn!

It's a lot like quitting smoking or any other addiction; tough to start, great when accomplished.

I have adopted a phrase, the author of which I am not sure, which continues to help me and that is, "I know enough, I have enough, I am enough." I now see the world in a different way. I'm not trying to change it, just myself.

Marvelous hub and thank you for expressing the obvious with such finesse and care!

Gratefully,

Bruce


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Born2Care, thank you for sharing your story. I hope things are better for you and yours. I think we all go through times of indulging ourselves; today we just have to be more careful.

Thanks for dropping by, reading, and commenting!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for publishing this needful Hub. I agree with you. You give excellent advice.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, James! I appreciate you dropping by and commenting!


gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 4 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

Hard to disagree with this hub. Long overdue point of view. Voted ^ & awesome

Thanks 4 SHARING


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Gifalcone! I appreciate you dropping by and reading. :-)


richfsr 4 years ago

Good Hub. Sound advice. Another tip you may like. Never spend your change. I always bring my change home and place it into a big jug. Twice a year I will take that accumulated change out and reward myself for saving it. You can either put it into savings or buy something for cash that you wanted. You will be surprised how many dollars in change you can save in six months that otherwise would have been wasted.


NayNay2124 profile image

NayNay2124 4 years ago

Great hub and very well needed. Too many people live above their means and do not save for the unexpected occurrences. I learned about saving and being frugal from my grandmother who went through the depression. Hopefully, people will read your hub and take your advice. Voted up and awesome!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Rich, thanks for adding the idea of not spending change. I already do this. I drop it into the bottomless pit of my purse where most women can't find anything. LOL When I clean my purse out, I throw the change in a bowl in the house. You are so right about the unexpected accumulation of extra money. :-)

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

NayNay, having parents and grandparents who lived during the Depression is a true blessing. They passed on their wisdom to us, which has helped us be frugal with our money.

Thanks for dropping by and the votes!! :-)


susanm23b 4 years ago

Very interesting hub! Voted up! The comments have been interesting reading as well. My take is--we live in a very complex world with people with good intentions that often have very negative unintended consequences AND with people who are just evil, hurt others and don't care. We can't control the world, but we can take personal responsibility and control ourselves and our financial habits. Is that a sure guarantee that nothing bad will happen to us? NO! But we all can do our best :)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Susan, you hit the nail on the head. There are many to blame for the bad and evil in our economy, but we can do our best to be responsible for what we do. You and I are on the same page. :-)

Thanks so much for dropping by!


JSParker profile image

JSParker 4 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

Very interesting hub. "Live Within Your Means" is an old-fashioned American value that many more of us are learning to do. I think we will learn it, and become a better, stronger nation for it.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi JS! It is an old-fashioned American value. Our grandparents knew and were a successful generation. When I say "successful," I mean most of them knew how to save their money and were wise when they spent it. I think we will be stronger for it, too.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


nina64 profile image

nina64 4 years ago from chicago, Illinois

This is such a wonderful hub. The advice that you give is sound and practical. After years of being in financial turmoil, I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I really don't care whether I have credit or not, I just want to live a lifestyle that is free of debt and worry. Also, I've gotten to a point in my life to where I feel that I don't need "to keep up with the jones" in order to feel like I'm all that. I truly believe that is why a lot of us are struggling financially just to keep up with everyone else. We must learn to take responsibility for our own finances. I'm glad to say that I have finally learned my lesson. Again, great hub.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Nina! We each have to do what is best for us. I think we have all faltered in our finances and gotten things out of want or appearances rather than need. I hope we have learned the lesson of perspective you described in your comment.

Thanks for sharing and commenting! :-)


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

well said indeed.

humans should know their boundaries and should live accordingly esp not like the jonases..lol

As kennedy has said that." ask not what the country has done for you but ask what you have done for your country" This recession is partly us to be blamed.

voted up indeed and shared across


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I enjoyed this hub and I equally enjoyed each and every comment written. I didn't learn these valuable rules near early enough. How I wish that I had. I live by them now. But if I had been taught early in life all that you have mentioned here, I would be way better off financially today. I think about this all the time and realize the importance of educating our children by example. I neglected to do that. Sharing this excellent hub and voting up!


Riverfish24 profile image

Riverfish24 4 years ago from United States

Totally agree. Ma used to say 'cut your coat according to your cloth'. We never borrow and never live beyond our means, if we can't afford it, we don't get it, simple. Debt is horrible, one needs to control their desires or earn more to fulfill them!!


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City

It's true that surviving today takes some very unique drastic measures, and following the crowd, the trends or how you put it here in your hub "The Joneses", isn't the way to make it either.

I did many of the things you've suggested long ago, and live quite frugally myself, actually me and my wife. Well we truly have no choice anyhow even if we wanted too live it up.

Saving is the most paramount thing we do, and i like how you pointed so many important details out for most people who have no idea of what to do during such harsh economic conditions.

Voted up in a big way, and I'm definitely sharing this one, because its useful in every way.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Somehow I missed this one; glad Kelly put it up on Facebook. Great hub with a message that needs to be read by many out there. We are entering a new chapter in the United States, a chapter of economic survival, and the sooner people understand that the consumerism of the past is not going to work any longer the better off they will be. Well done Susan!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago

Good advice. Live within your means. Save as much as you can. Pay cash for your toys.


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

This was an interesting piece to read. It is hard sometimes to live within your means when working pt. It is good advice to see in print. You are a very wise human being! Voted up!


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

Great points! Thanks for sharing.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Ruchira, boundaries can be difficult sometimes, but I agree. We have to figure out where we are before we can figure out where we are going. Thanks so much for dropping by and the votes and shares! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Audrey, I think when it comes to finances, we all have something in our past we wish we had done differently. Educating ourselves and our children is so important in today's world. It is never too late to try. Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you dropping by, voting, and sharing! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Riverfish, I can't say I actually have always been able to do it, but my grandparents never bought anything if they didn't have the money. They saved every penny and bought things. I don't know that they ever had a loan. I wish I could say the same. Thanks so much for dropping by!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Michael, my husband and I started out living frugally out of necessity, too, and choose to live that way today. Too many heartaches come with debt. We just have to live the way we can. It may not always be the way we want, but that is when we find our happiness elsewhere besides the credit card. ;-)

Thanks so much for dropping by, the votes, and the shares! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

You said it, Bill! There is so much temptation out there in the material world. We have to figure out a way to teach our kids how to live economically. I have one child who thought money was like sand running through fingers until there were some hard knocks... and no help from mom and dad (tough love stinks and isn't called "tough" for no reason), and another who wouldn't let loose of a penny if life were at stake. LOL Both are learning and living for themselves at this point in time. We did the best we could to teach them how to be fiscally responsible adults. (I won't pay their bills, but I won't see them starve either.) It is about economic survival, and all of us are facing it in one way or another.

Thanks so much for dropping by! :-)


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Amen, Ralph! And if you can't pay cash for toys, go without them. They aren't going to bring you happiness in the long run anyway!

Thanks for dropping by!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Audra, it is hard sometimes. We have to do what we have to do to survive. I think the Depression was hard for my grandparents and mother, but I think today is just as hard on us. We just have to hang on. :-)

Thanks for dropping by and your kind words!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Thanks, Levertis. I appreciate you dropping by!


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

It is hard to not be able to keep up with the Jonses when you once could, but can't now. What a great hub! It is nice to see this was not bashing politicians, etc. Great advice here too!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Audra! I don't need to bash the politicians because they are doing that to each other and don't need my help. LOL I think common sense needs to be practiced during these bad times. What is done is done, and we need to move forward.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear Susan ~ I have read what you wrote and the concept of saving is excellent. The dividends from the bank are nil, the CDs near to middling, the investment in property not so great, the cost of a college education skyrocketed, and the cost of toys not the same since the advent of a computerized world. Insurance and medical costs, shall I call them "rape" of the public trust? It's a different world from our parents and grandparents when America could actually be called the Land of Opportunity. I feel very very sorry for young people today to make ends meet.

I appreciate where you come from, our roots and our generation.

Blessings, Debby


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Hi Debby! I still believe in the Land of Opportunity. I am sure the people in the Great Depression felt pretty hopeless, too. It is always hard to recover from financial downfalls. I think if we try to use our common sense in the face of all the corruption going on in big industry, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks so much for dropping by! :-)

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