Friday, May 27, 2011, AM | 1 Comment
I was looking for news about personal finances when I came across a story in the New York Times. The link to the original story is given at the end of the post. Before you read the story, I want you to imagine this scenario. It is purely hypothetical. It is only textbook talk. It has nothing to do with you and me. It does not happen to real people in real life, the life that some people try to live.
When you enter a tunnel with so much burden of debt on your shoulder, you just keep going in deeper debt. There is no end to the debt tunnel.
More debt piling up
Inside the tunnel, you are offered more loan. You accept it to try to pay off the existing loan – more loans, more debt, more worries. There is no end in sight. You cannot see or hear anything. On top of that, you don’t see anyone to talk to or worse you don’t let anyone talk to you. Your mind is all cluttered.
More jealousy, more worry
You hear a car honking. Mr. & Mrs. Jones are passing you by in their shiny brand new car. You are dragging along. You get jealous and more jealous by the second.
When you think it might be the end of the tunnel, you are offered more loan. You keep accepting it. More loans, more debt, more worries.
At one point, whether you hear or see, you are advised – for the upteenth time, to stop imitating Mr. & Mrs. Jones and try to live your own life and by yourself. For no more than a minute or two, you follow their advice of how to get out of your deep debt – more like deep shit to me.
I thought all this was hypothetical
Until I read the story about a “sweet” woman as the author, Ben Stein, calls her.
Ben describes the woman case in an article in the New York Times online. It was published back on Jan. 24, 2009.
Ben advises everyone to follow some straight straits which I repeat here.
- Do not act like typical Americans.
- Do not fail to save.
- Do not get yourself in debt up to your eyeballs.
- Work and take pride and honor from your work.
- Learn a useful skill that Americans really need, like law or plumbing or medicine or nursing.
- Do not expect your old Ma and Pa to always be there to take care of you. I absolutely guarantee that they will not be.
- Learn to be self-sufficient through your own contributions, as the saying goes.
Moral of the story
The “sweet” woman’s ex husband gives her $20,000 every month of which $10,000 in alimony and $10,000 in child support.
From the article, I gather that her present husband is a wealthy man. Now she wants to get rid of him as well.
Is she rich? Is she poor? Is she sick? Can you sympathize with her? Is there anyway or any reason to sympathize with her?
My family of four live debt free – and I thank God for that – on a super duper income of a little more than $60,000 a year. Not only that, we pay a generous amount to Uncle Sam out of that income. We use credit card for almost everything, even a gallon of milk at the corner convenience store.
In a Nutshell
Do think about the fact that your financial situation can change really quickly. It has changed for the worse the last couple of years for many people.
Read the article on NY Times website in full:
Deep in Debt, and Now Deep in Worry.