The past decade has been one of splurging and in many cases—living well beyond our means. Easy access to credit cards and home equity loans enabled Americans to live more lavishly than any previous generation. Our attitudes were a little bit like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind—we would worry about it tomorrow. Well, tomorrow finally came, and our economy began to decline, and in turn, an extended recession has ensued.
We are now beginning to notice a cultural shift in spending habits forcing many consumers to change their actual spending habits. The values of our homes have rapidly declined. We no longer see raises and bonuses in the workplace and the years of overspending have left many with unmanageable debt.
A more grounded consumer can emerge and realize that life is not defined by what we buy or possess. As a culture, we hopefully will learn to spend more practically and not fall prey to the excess spending of the past.
Change can be difficult but not impossible. As our financial economy has been thrust into decline we need to put more thought into how we spend our money. Regardless of the state of our economy, conscious spending should always be at the fore front of our thinking.
Living within our means and planning for our futures is the beginning of Yielding to better spending.