I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. -Philippians 4:12
This is a major problem in our society in my opinion. We have become a society where nobody is content with what they have. We always have to have a bigger better house, newer car, more stuff. Everything seems to be a race to keep up with the Joneses.
Watching or reading the news they tell me that consumer credit is down, and that’s a bad thing for our economy. Really? Our economy is such that it can only function by everyone going into more debt than they can afford? It seems that people going into more debt than they could afford is what caused this recession. The savings rate is now up to about 6%. We actually had a negative savings rate a few years ago. Seriously. Our country as a whole spent more than we made. Now the savings rate is up to a whopping 6%. This is also apparently bad. Our economy needs you to go out and spend every dime you have.
This is really frustrating to me. We need to be content with what we have, and start saving some money for a rainy day. You probably don’t need a brand new car. You probably don’t need a bigger house. You also don’t need more junk to fill up the house you have that is probably already bigger than you need.
Our economy should not be built entirely on everyone spending more money than they make. That is unsustainable growth. That is not a healthy economy and that is what caused our recent collapse. Our increasing savings is really encouraging to me. It should really be much higher though. It may cause a little bit of pain in the short term, but in the long term it would help so much. For example, think about Social Security and Medicare.
Currently we don’t have the money to pay for Social Security and Medicare. Right now we are going to have to have some really painful changes take place to make those solvent. If everyone saved 15% or more it would be much less of a problem. People would be able to take care of themselves instead of relying on the government.
Be content with what you have. If you can be a bit more content now, you will be much better off later. Would you rather have a huge house, an extra new car, and a boat all of which sit mostly unused because you have to be at work to pay for them? Or would you rather live a simpler life with a smaller house, an older car, and no boat, but with the ability to retire at 40 to spend more time with your family? I know which one I would choose.
You say you don’t want to be cheated. You want to have fun now and all the time. Who said you have to spend money to have fun? Sure it helps sometimes, but there are plenty of ways to have fun without spending a ton of money. Do you feel cheated now that you are 65 and still have to work because you never saved any money? Be content with what you have and start saving more money today. I can’t wait to see what the pundits say when the savings rate hits 15%.