To the editor:
When you turn on the television, you are subjected to an endless barrage of advertisements. These ads seem to be geared to the general population of middle class Americans with cash to burn. The reality is most people don't have money left in their checking account by the time payday arrives. This "Social Pressure" drives a mentality that we should be at the store buying something, or anything that we can. With 70 percent of our economy based on spending, its hard to say "reduce spending," but that's exactly what we need. For some folks, the perception of wealth, is more important than actual wealth. Is that how YOU Feel. Children see what others have, and force their parents to provide. Parents provide to make them and their children feel good about themselves. Making a car payment for a shiny car allows people to project an economic status that's based on falsities. Buying new name brand clothes with a credit card allows families to feel like they have money to burn. While actually, all you are thinking about is how much your credit card payment will be. I say stop the phony economic projections, and man up. Buy what you need, not what is socially popular. Stop projecting these values of we have plenty to your children. There are numerous financial guidance gurus out there, but be your own.
One dollar, plus one on credit does not equal two dollars. If your raising a family and have ten dollars left over on payday, STOP. You have no business borrowing money to support your lifestyle. Of course this sounds crazy. That's because multimillion dollar corporations are telling you different. Write out a simple budget starting with your net income, and then subtract every expense that your have. Do you really like that number? Do you feel like that fancy car payment and name brand clothes is worth it? For most people that is a very small number. If your car payment is more than your savings deposit for the month, you may want to STOP. Take time to evaluate what really is important. How many hours do you have to work just to buy something? Is that worth your time? Chinese goods and depreciating assets are worth very little time. Its OK to not be wealthy. Its not OK to project phony wealth. This harms your children s values, and put you on an endless race to keep up. Tithing, Retirement, Taxes, Savings, and final expenses. After you give, save, and pay your taxes, divide that number by the number of people in your family. Would you live off of that number? Are you as wealthy as you have others believe?