bigjohn

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What happened to … ‘Living within your means’ ?

Posted by Big John on January 22, 2008

When I was a child I was taught to save my pennies if I wanted something, and never to borrow money.

 “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”… My mother would quote to me, and by and large I have stuck to it, with the major exception of a mortgage to enable me to set up home and the minor one of the odd item of furniture purchased on the ‘never never’ hire purchase system back in the early1960′s, so that my new wife and I would not have to sleep on the floor.

If I fancied a holiday in Bournemouth or later Benidorm, it was a case of putting so much per week away in the old Post Office savings account, and it took bloody years before I could afford my first car.

At times I have been short of a few bob and payday often seemed a long time coming, but I rarely resorted to ‘my flexible friend’.

Now it seems that in our ‘must have it now’ society millions of people are in what is called a ‘spendemic’ which is largely fuelled by their desire for an instant ‘celeb’ lifestyle.

A new report reveals a huge rise in the amount that people spend on ‘non-essential’ items, which includes restaurants, hotels, jewellery and holidays, and during the last ten years a typical person’s spending on these items has increased by 65 per cent. During the same period the number of credit cards in this country has doubled.

It would seem that while many people in this country struggle to ‘make ends meet’, millions of others … “are caught in a spiral of conspicuous consumption”.

It’s being called the ‘Hello ! factor’ after the magazine for people who never read. I presume that …

…   must also include their bank statements.  

4 Responses to “What happened to … ‘Living within your means’ ?”

  1. “Living within your means” is considered rather old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy these days though I personally still think it’s the best way.

    All the young people I know spend to the limit on as many credit cards as they can get hold of. They regard this as necessary, despite the penalty of interest charges, because when they want something, they have to have it immediately. Waiting for it is an alien concept. I suppose they are afraid of losing face by not having what everyone else in the group has.

    I don’t measure success by possessions but by the amount of fun Tigger and I have. In that respect, we are pretty well off at the moment and no overdraft was necessary.

  2. gawilli said

    I wonder if this is because the last few generations have not had the experience of hard times. Nor their parents, for that matter.

  3. Maria said

    I was born at the end of the Great Depression. Although I was not effected by it, I heard the stories of how bad it was from both my mom and my dad over and over. I really felt such times could (would) never happen again. And so far, I have only had to live through recessions that had little effect on my life-style. For a long time I worried about my children and their rash spending and lack of savings. However, when one of them lost his job and realized how tight life could be, the others began to think in a more mature way and to budget more wisely. Now they all talk to me about Money Managers and Advisors. Makes me smile, but then I hope they are including in their future plans extra money to take care of me in my very old age. LOL.

  4. Ginnie said

    I, too, was born in the depression years and I still react the same way to money matters. As I often tell my kids, “I’m not cheap, just thrifty”…but they just don’t get it. The amount of non-essentials that they have is not to be believed.

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