In my last post, I spoke about what I thought was the most overused term in personal finance; financial literacy. And as many of you know who follow my blog, I have been through a journey of complete credit and financial devastation.
But as I traveled this journey while blogging about my experiences and trying to pass along life lessons about accelerating the process of credit and financial recovery, I had an epiphany. The more I wrote, the clearer the picture became for me personally that it wasn’t about accelerating anything other than the way I thought about finance and consumerism. Keep reading
Finding the Cure, Ignoring the Cause
Without a doubt, I have a lot of knowledge to pass along to my readers about performing a Credit Audit & Verification of their personal credit report that you would know if you viewed any of my free video lectures – The Better Credit Blueprint.
But again, many of you just want to correct errors and inaccuracies in your credit report, right? Hell, let’s just call it what it is; many of you just flat out want to “fix” your credit. Am I right? So here’s the million dollar question; and then what? Why are you “fixing” your credit anyway? Is it only to get back in the game of consumerism?
Consumerism as the Cause
Submitting your life to consumerism is like sitting in a rocking chair—it’s always in motion but it never gets you anywhere. So why do you struggle with it? Why do we struggle with it as amateur consumers? No folks; I submit to you that fixing your credit and recovering from debt is not what we should be concentrating on personally, collectively, or as a nation.
We need to learn how to prepare, and yes, defend ourselves from the battle that is being waged everywhere we go and on a daily basis! We have become a nation of debtors and much like the medical profession; we concentrate on cures when we should be looking at prevention!
Time for Thought Disruption
Before you learn how to drive, you receive a learners permit right? And you have to pass a driving test before you can actually get behind the wheel of a car. But why don’t high school seniors have to pass a comprehensive financial literacy test in order to graduate?
We know graduation to mean the receiving or conferring of an academic degree or diploma. But I would argue that graduation encompasses the entire secondary stage of life! Whether that next stage is college or getting a job, there is a blueprint to be followed in order to live a balanced life that will allow you to chase your dreams unencumbered! This will take thought disruption! Keep Reading
“No man can cause more grief than that one clinging blindly to the vices of his ancestors.”
So let’s get back to that thought disruption. The normal American dream is to hopefully go to college, graduate, get a job or get in business, buy a home and start a family. Sounds about right, no? Do you know the one constant throughout that entire process? Think real hard. Go ahead; I’ll give you a few minutes…
It’s consumerism! If we define consumerism as the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods, when you make a choice of where to attend college, does money play into your decision making process? Unless you’re Mitt Romney and you ask your parents for a loan to start a business, you better believe it!
When you decide on what career path to take, does money enter into the decision making process as well? Absolutely! What about buying a home, car, or obtaining financing? Hell – to – the – YES it does!
The entire process is littered with economic decisions that if made incorrectly, could possibly ruin you for the rest of your life!
Opportunism abounds…but not for you and I; it abounds for the banks, lending and retail institutions, and the Jones’. Here’s what I mean:
- It abounds for the banks because they don’t want you to know that it would take you 20 years to pay off a $3000 dollar credit card balance incurred at 12% interest making a 2% minimum monthly payment.
- It abounds for the lending and retail institutions who find every way possible for you to get what you want right now, while mortgaging away your tomorrow to get it!
- It abounds for the Jones’ because they know you are watching and no matter how hard you try, you just have to keep up with them! You can’t help yourself; it’s what we are conditioned to do.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
Has there ever been a simpler idiom stated in history than this one? It simply means that it’s better to avoid problems in the first place, rather than trying to fix them once they arise! But how would consumerism exist, if for example; middle and high school students learned the psychology of consumerism before they graduate?
How would it survive if our children learned critical decision making skills and the art of frugality as I covered in my last post?
The answer is it would survive just fine! That is; if consumerism was only defined as the protection or promotion of the interests of consumers.
So The Cure For Debt and Bad Credit is…
If consumerism is the root-cause of debt and bad credit, then the cure is comprehensive financial literacy for our children before they get out into the real world. If we prepare them for life as they graduate to the secondary stage of their lives, whatever that may be, then truly they will be free from the chains of debt and bad credit that many of us have been enslaved to and free themselves to pursue their dreams unencumbered!
What a beautiful thought! So I ask you; is not an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure? This is an important discussion and I am very interested in what your thoughts are, so please share them below. If you liked this post, please share it with your friends as well.