articles on how Canada's average debt surpassed $100,000 this February. One. Hundred. Thousand. Dollars. On average! Americans are in even worse shape.
Why are we okay with this?
Back in the day if you wanted more land you went out and grew some wheat and if your crop succeeded you expanded. If you didn't have a crop and you needed a new jacket you went out and harvested someone else's until you got paid and then you bought what you needed. I'm sorry, but doesn't that make sense?
I don't mean to be down on anyone who lost their job because of the downturn and can't find other work. Or any American with unexpected medical expenses. Or the single Mom, or someone reeling from a nasty divorce. Or the student who got in over their head. But where do we draw the line?
Some debt makes sense. A mortgage on a basic home, for example (take into consideration, first, housing prices). Also certain small business loans. Let me put a disclaimer here: I am not a gambler by nature and I will never treat my finances like I am. Low risk, low reward.
But I live very comfortably. Admittedly, I don't have children and I live in a low-cost part of the country (read: rural). I prioritize. I get a thrill out of saving. I also travel extensively, but cheaply. I choose to go through periods without steady employment. I volunteer. I market farm.
I know, I have the luxury. I live in a prosperous society. But I could live for years on what my fellow countrymen owe, on average.
I work and then I buy the things I want.
Doesn't that make sense?