Consumer Debt

This is a break from our usual health topics, but we are committed to providing information that improves the quality of life of all of our readers. Due to the recession, we realize that finances are a hot topic, and many Americans are finding ways to cut spending and stretch their dollars. A simple way to do this is to avoid consumer debt. This is not an easy task, but it can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in the long run.

In our consumer economy, most people live by the principle of

spend, spend, spend—

and if you don’t have the money in the bank, charge it! Commercials, ads, and all types of media advocate the use of a credit card to buy what you want, when you want it, without waiting. The problem with this is that the credit industry has actually become a marketed product. The industry is not a free service or a convenience.

Dave Ramsey, a personal financial author and speaker, advocates a simple rule when deciding whether to use credit to purchase an item: “When the utility of what you want is less than the cost of the debt, don’t buy it.” When referring to utility, he means if the item will increase your productivity and make you more money. Resist the urge to purchase items on credit that will cost you for a lifetime, unless this item is actually going to make you more money over time.

For more information on the views of Dave Ramsey, visit www.daveramsey.com

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