Did you know that there was a time when people simply didn’t have debt? Credit cards weren’t even invented until the 1950s. Many retailers refused to sell on credit: Ford, JC Penney, Sears. Now credit is where they make their money, not on the initial product purchase.
There was a time when to talk of having debts was like openly admitting that you liked to pull the wings off flies. People simply would not confess to having debt, even if it turned out that they did have debts, and quite substantial ones at that.
Times have changed. Now, debt is seen as a normal and accepted way of life by most people. The problem with debt and credit is that it encourages you to live beyond your means. If you can’t afford to pay for something today, but you can handle it if the payments are spread over time, you are basically gambling that nothing is going to happen between now and when the bill comes due that will make it difficult or impossible to pay.
Today debt awareness is more important than anything. Even our government needs to learn to rein in its expenditures and stop living beyond its means. The solution to debt, and the view that will always be correct and clear, is that we need to apply common sense to our finances. Before any purchase ask yourself: Do I need this? Can I afford this? Can I pay for it with cash?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then don’t buy it — at least not today.