The credit crisis might seem like old news with the current downturn in the economy. Everyone is focused on ugly little words like “recession” and “unemployment.” Who has time to worry about issues like credit, either on the national or personal level?
You should. As more and more people find it harder to make ends meet each month, they may find themselves tempted to try and maintain the lifestyle they’re accustomed to by simply charging what they want and paying it back later. No harm, right? After all, when times are tough, we do what we can to keep our spirits afloat. A night on the town here or a new bit of tech there certainly can’t hurt.
Except that it can. That is the mindset that has gotten quite a few people in trouble, from individuals to multinational corporations. The whole mindset of operating beyond our means has become embedded in the national consciousness. It’s something that needs to change and soon.
There is a question of whose fault that would be (one of the other things people love to do is point fingers.) In this case, it’s hard to say. On the individual level, there doesn’t seem to be an actual system for educating people on the responsible use of credit cards. Many youngsters getting their cards for the first time immediately dive into unhealthy spending habits that will take them years to make up for. Perhaps they’re emulating the same behavior they have seen from their parents. Until someone finds a way to break this cycle and change this mindset, the best we can do is be as responsible as we can for ourselves.