Ever wonder how much debt and/or savings most Americans have? My curious mind couldn’t help think about this, so I went on a research “adventure” to learn more. Today I’m highlighting 3 scary statistics that point to the serious money problems in our society.
My hope is by shedding light on these issues, we’re all more motivated to fight consumerism, have a plan for our money, and encouraged to “swim upstream” in a culture who tells us we should live outside of our means.
So here’s what you’ve been waiting for…
Scary Statistic #1: average household debt
Check out each category below. Did you know the average household owes over $15k in credit card debt, alone?
Scary Statistic #2: zero savings and no emergency fund
Shocked that 49% said they don’t have a savings account or have $0 saved??
While the majority of us have thousands of dollars in debt, many don’t have a savings account or an emergency fund (often defined as 3-6 months living expenses). So while we’re indebted to someone else, we don’t have much of a cushion for ourselves.
I’m convinced even if someone’s on a tight budget, most of us could save for an emergency fund if we’re intentional about it.
Scary Statistic #3: car debt
“Today, outstanding vehicle loans add up to more than $1 trillion, with the average consumer carrying $12,000 of auto loan debt. The total student loan debt of the country stands at $1.3 trillion, not that much higher.”
These facts are bad, right? I don’t share this to depress you, but to highlight the problem many are facing. We live in a culture where it’s normal to spend more than we make and not plan for the future.
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Luke 14:28
I think the information above is true because we compare ourselves to others, feel discontent, and make unwise purchases. I also believe we live in a “you deserve it” influence. The question as to whether you can afford it goes out the window if you “deserve” something.
So what if we got “weird” and crazy about paying off debt, using wisdom in purchases and savings, and started fighting the trend?
What if we bought a less expensive home than the loan amount we’re approved for?
What if we drove an older vehicle that cost less than the car dealer approved?
What if we cut way back on purchases that aren’t needs and tackled our debt or saved for the future?
What if we did all of this so we could be more generous?
Just because living outside of our means has become so normal doesn’t mean it has to stay this way.
My vision for this blog is to create awareness of our spending habits and an area where like-minded individuals (you and me) can encourage each other to view our resources differently. I hope to partake in the movement of thinking and living differently and ultimately impacting God’s Kingdom because of it.
Peace and joy!
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