Saturday, January 14, 2012

the money trap

This is starting to sound like we're better off than we are, so I should clarify a few things:

First of all, and this is the cornerstone of consumerism, the more you have the more you want. We spend more than we make, and as much as we have it never seems like enough. Someone, usually that damn Jones family next door, has just gone and bought a _____, and now I've just got to have one too. We have so much shit we don't need, and it usually ends up in the basement or garage to make room for the next big thing.

Secondly, the more you have the more you can borrow. Spend a few years racking up debt, buying beyond your means and as long as you make the payments the banks are all too happy to give you more. That next big bonus or raise doesn't mean you can pay off some debt, it means you can increase your debt load and handle higher monthly payments. Hmm, what do I need next? Right now, we are into the bank(s) for about $600,000.00 (at one point we owed over $1m). The only answer- work harder and make more money I guess.

Thirdly, the first two points above can become a little too much to handle at times. Unfortunately my subconscious firmly believes that I can feel better by getting myself something special, but a corner of my conscious mind knows this will just make the problem worse. I was stressed out a little at work the other day so I went out and bought a new truck. We' re at $660,000.00 now.

A great example of a classic downward spiral if I've ever seen one (and the basis of the US economy circa 2005), but what if I just stopped? What if I said I've had enough. What if I realized that I don't really like playing this game, grabbed my ball mid-goal and yelled "screw you guys, I'm going home"?

Let's find out. I think I'm up for it.

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