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Like Guns Credit Cards Must Be Used With Caution
If there is one thing that has created problems with our economy, it is the lack of respect for credit, and the indiscriminant use of this financial tool. In the past Americans did not depend on credit cards the way they do now to make ends meet. There was this concept commonly known as; “living within your means.”
Unfortunately, many people in the past few years have had contempt for this sensible and practical way of handling their finances; known as living within one's means. The real estate market was being treated like a get rich quick scheme. Banks where giving loans out in the same way people give children candy on Halloween night. Lending institutions were handing out astronomical amounts of cash without truly investigating whether the borrower had the power to pay these loans back. Of course, these lenders also had a vested interest on the real estate frenzy that was going on, and as a result, got stuck with a lot of foreclosures, and this created the credit freeze. This created a loss of credibility in the stock market for some of the larger lending institutions, and the need for the government to rescue these institutions, by inventing the infamous stimulus package. These rescue operations will put America in debt by trillions dollars.
How does a mess like this even start? Wanting everything in sight, and wanting it now, that’s how. We believe in self control when it comes to other areas of our lives, yet when it comes to spending a lot of people forgot about consequences. What ever happened to saving up for what you want, or honoring agreements made with your creditors? I know what it is like to be in debt. About eight years ago I owed fourteen thousand on my credit cards, and suddenly lost my job. I am very blessed to have had the help of my family, who got me through till I found another job. I soon was employed, and it took me seven years to pay that debt. I finally finished paying them of. Yes, I learned the meaning of sacrifice, and self control along the way. I now believe in saving up for what I want, it’s a lot less stressful in the long run.
I remember reading in Time Magazine about a month ago, while waiting at the doctor’s office, about a family that practiced the principle of living within their means. Even though this family had to do without many of the things that we consider a necessity, things such as a dryer, this family managed to survive. Today that family is doing very well and their sacrifices had paid of. They had money to educate their children and retire comfortably. This reminded me of my own childhood when my mother would hang clothes on the clothesline and we had to rent a two room apartment, yet we managed to get by. My family even managed to save five thousand dollars, and we used that as a down payment on our first home back in 1971.
As a family, we have still manage to successfully stay out of debt, and even though life has many other challenges, staying out of debt helps with the financial stress that many others face, because of out of control spending, and the abuse of credit. Many people today have not only lost their shirt, but their home as well. The question is will America manage to get back on its feet? Will we one day manage on common sense instead of needing an endless supply of stimulus packages that will cost Americans and generations to come an endless supply of money? This whole economic situation is a wake up call. We have to change the way we look at credit. Because like guns credit must be handled with caution.