Rising Debt: Are You Trying to Keep Up with the Joneses?
Ever check out the U.S. debt clock? The national debt continues to rise and rise with each passing second. Trust me, I bet you’ll find it more frightening than your favorite horror movie.
U.S. Debt Facts:
Our country is roughly $17 trillion in debt.
The average American household credit card debt is $15,191.
The average mortgage debt is $154,365.
The average student loan debt $33,607.
Consumer debt $11.68 trillion (a 3.7 percent increase from last year).
Total U.S. credit card debt $854.2 billion.
Total U.S. student loan debt $1,115.3 billion (13.9 percent increase from the previous year).
The average debt per citizen $55,146, while the average debt per tax payer $151,157.
Unfortunately, there are a number of us that feel like we must “keep up with the Joneses” and thus, we live outside our means. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a new car you can’t afford or being “house poor,” although many Americans are guilty of both.
It is very easy to let our household budget and spending get out of control. Things tend to add up very quickly.
3 Simple Ways to Save Money:
Cook at home more this includes little things like coffee, soda, and special drinks or snacks.
Try sharing Netflix streaming and HBO Go accounts with a friend and or Redboxing it vs. paying for a full cable package.
Use cash and attempt to avoid using credit cards, especially for purchases that are not imperative or necessary. If you have credit card debt, pay it off as quickly as you can.
It’s very easy to go out to eat especially if that’s the one area you like to treat yourself. I am pretty guilty of enjoying breakfast at my favorite restaurant and dinners out with friends. It can easily become an everyday occurrence and the next thing you know, funds in your bank account are a lot lower than anticipated especially once all the “pending withdrawals” come out.
It’s great to live life, enjoy some entertainment, and schedule date nights or fun time. But, it’s better to plan ahead and budget accordingly, otherwise a few “spur of the moment” shindigs start to cost a wee bit more than a pretty penny.