Desperate Times Call For Conventional Measures
BY ADAM MILLER
Financial Planner at Elderado Financial
Candidate for CFP® certification
Life is so busy. It seems like we
never have enough time for the
important things like taking care of
the people and organizations we
care about. There is the house
payment, the second mortgage, a
car payment and repairs. Money is
tight and credit cards help us make
it month to month. Many Americans
feel like they are being stretched
from both sides; the bank and credit card company on
one end, and a job that doesn’t pay enough on the other.
We take out a loan and treat ourselves to that ATV, or
that vacation; after all, we deserve it as hard as we work.
We will pay for it later.
Sound familiar? This has become standard operating
procedure for too many families. The savings rate in
America has been in the negative for the last 14 years.
As a country we spend more than we make, we don’t
save and we buy what we want on credit. This is the
reason our economy is in this mess.
Folks are beginning to change. I was in the back yard
grilling some chicken and I noticed my neighbor was
grilling as well. “I’ve got chicken, what have you got?” I
asked him. My neighbor, who is a butcher, said he was
having chicken. He mentioned at the meat counter he
had been cutting quite a bit more chicken lately and that
he hadn’t seen beef in a while.
Consumers are changing their spending habits. The14
years of negative savings rates was broken this year.
Americans have started tightening their belts. Folks that
grew up during the dirty 30’s remember what that feels
like. They learned from their parents how to buckle
down. As a country we have lost that skill. The vast
majority have not been forced to be frugal to the extent
that we see today. The economy has been a catalyst for
change. Americans are being forced to make prudent
financial decisions and it is a painful process.
We need to use this ‘opportunity’ to create a permanent
change in our live