DEBT STATISTICS, HOW DO YOU STACK UP?

by Matt B

Taken from National Debt Assistance:

Americans carry approximately $5,800 in credit card debt from month to month. If they make minimum payments on this debt, it would take 30 years to pay off and cost them an additional $15,000.

Minimum payments are the biggest money makers for credit card companies. Lets say for example you have a card with a $5,000 balance. If you are to pay the minimum on this card (usually about $125) at most interest rates, you will be paying for over 20 years. So little of the payment actually goes to the principle balance that you end up paying $20 per month or less on your actual debt.

Over 40% of all United States families spend more than they earn.

This will be the easiest statistic to fix and I believe that now we are in a “financial crisis”, Americans will be much more conscious about spending and saving. Hopefully we will all start to realize that the only way to get ahead will be to hold on to some of our hard-earned money, or use it for things that will make us money as opposed to draining our accounts and getting nothing to show for it in the end.

The average family has 13 credit cards or other types of payment cards.

This one is VERY hard for me to swallow. Look, we all know plenty of people in debt and some that are teetering on the edge of ruin, but 13 cards is ridiculous!! I’m not really sure what these “other types of payment cards” are, but I hope beyond hope that these include loans or other types of payment plans and are not just credit cards alone.

Unlike many…such as Dave Ramsey, I am one of those people who believe that credit cards are not pure evil. Conversely, ANY household with 13 credit cards is just foolish. I can see no reason for more than 1 or 2 cards per person.

92% of United States families spend their disposable income on debt payments.

Just imagine, if you are a part of one of these households, how much positive cash flow you are missing out on in interest payments alone.

96% of all people will retire dependent upon the government, family, or charity.

This number haunts me. Literally. This number means that out of every 100 people you know, only 4 of them will retire financially stable. I know that the “American Dream” is to retire somewhere quiet and peaceful in the country without a worry in the world. The harsh reality is that if you do not worry today about tomorrow, tomorrow is going to be a rough day/week/month/year/rest of your life.

If every generation is supposed to be “smarter” than the one preceding it, then why is it that my generation is further in debt than any previous? And the current generation appears to be on a worse path than mine. I’m not trying to say that I will be able to break the cycle of poor money management, but I’d like to think that I can make at least a small dent in these

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

LittlePeopleWealth February 14, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Great post!

Heyagainlando February 15, 2009 at 9:40 am

You have no idea how much I appreciate that. Keep reading!!!

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