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Being Rich is Not An Easy Goal April 17, 2007

Posted by Elaine in Consumers, Finances, Public Interest.

I have heard once that the majority of adolescents had said that their ultimate goal is to become rich in life. So many people have the same goal, yet only a certain percentage are ever able to achieve this. I came across an interesting article that features a young couple, both earning a combined six-digit income. They want the typical American lifestyle, get married, buy a house, and put money away for their kids’ education. These hard-working Americans however, only have a few hundred dollars in their savings account and approximately $40,000 in debt.

This is the normal trend for people these days. With the ability to “buy now, pay later,” credit accumulates tremendously. Everyone wants the American life with their own house early on in their lives, and hence, they spend and buy things on credit.

CNN money gives us advice on how to prevent this crisis. Start saving early. It seems like common sense, but it is actually much harder than it sounds. Most people spend their money on things, and leave their “leftovers” in their savings account. This is apparently the wrong way to go about it. We should put a set percentage in our savings account, and then pay off other things. If we invest $10,000 at age 30, it will grow to $100,000 by retirement. If we waited to invest this $10,000 at age 40, it will only grow to about half of that.

This article makes me think that it is never too early to start saving. It sounds like a foolproof plan, but do we have the discipline as American consumers to do so?



1. wilson7 - April 17, 2007

I believe it is a lot harder for Americans to save money because of the internet and all of the products that an individual can buy with just a click of the mouse. It is easy to say that you are going to start saving money until that new pair of sneakers, a new style of clothing, new phone, ect. comes out and you want to keep up with the new trends. There is not anyone who wants to be stuck with last years style. People even buy things that they know they are never going to use, its just so many things you can spend money on.

2. Stacey Swift - April 17, 2007

We live in such a consumer’s world it is very difficult to save. Fashion, cars, real estate, and ‘things’ are very important in our society and it seems like there is a constant competition to have the best. This makes it very difficult to save your money. Also, more so in our generation I think, our parents have provided a lot for us and not forced us to earn our own things. This causes us to not fully understand the value of money and how important it is to save.

3. Brian Mulligan - April 18, 2007

I feel that a typical American consumer doesn’t have the discipline to save. Our society is based so strongly on material products that we have to keep up with the trends as Stacey mentioned. With the advent of the credit card, the American consumer has accumulated a massive amount of debt that they have trouble paying off. I’ve always been taught to save and invest in larger, more stable products that have a longer lifetime value. In my opinion, saving is somehitng that each American should learn and abide by because we, as a country, cannot finance everything through debt. These values will be passed down to our children and awful cycle make pick up.

4. Charley S - April 18, 2007

I also agree that saving is difficult, which is why I’m going to have money taken out of my paycheck each month and put aside for later automatically instead of having a battle of willpower every 2 weeks whether or not to spend or save money. As a sidenote; I’m planning on buying a motorcycle, a dog, and a big screen tv this summer so I am really not setting a great example.

5. Janine - April 19, 2007

Yes, it is very smart ot save and it sounds so simple, yet, why then are not more people doing it. I think it all comes down to money management. People just lack the discipline to handle their financial accounts and bills intelligently. This is the problem. Credit card companies see this opportunity, and who can blame them for taking advantage of it. We are taught by society to have these great things, these new sneakers, the latest clothing styles, and the nicer cars, etc. Therefore, by society and advirtising telling us that we should want to have these things, of course people are brainwashed into thinking they want them or need them. Our heads get too big. We are not rich yet!

6. Jordi - April 19, 2007

I can’t dig up references now, but I am pretty sure a a lot of people have looked at happiness and life satisfaction and wealth is weakly at best related to happiness. Love, community, purpose, feeling useful are much more strongly related. i bet there is a big middle ground- being down and out of living day to day and paycheck to paycheck does not help happiness.

7. collage9 - May 3, 2007

I definitely agree that saving your money is much easier said than done. Right now, I am certainly not doing a very good job of saving my money. I think, however, once I have a job and am living on my own it will be much harder for me to spend all of my money. Even though it will probably be harder than I expect, I plan on investing a good amount of money at a young age. With the knowledge I have now I knwo that I don’t want to relay on credit cards and the buy now, pay later method.

8. Comments on ‘Being Rich is not an Easy Goal’ « Just Another OrgHead Outpost - February 2, 2010

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