Credit Cards are killing the American Dream
Credit cards are as American as apple pie. It seems that everyone has and uses credit cards every day. When Americans reach into their wallets at the end of a meal or at the grocery store checkout counter, they are pulling out credit cards more often than they are pulling out cash or check cards. Some say this is just for convenience and security, but the increasing number of bankruptcies and the current credit crisis point to something more serious. Most Americans misuse and abuse credit cards, which causes their own financial downfall.
Most Americans are living beyond their means, and they are using credit cards to do it. In a society that is more focused on instant gratification rather than long-term rewards, people feel the need to make purchases regardless of if they can afford them or not. Every day millions of Americans go out to purchase large ticket items such as televisions and computers. Rather than save up money over time for these large purchases, most people who cannot afford to purchase these items outright use their credit cards to make these large purchases. Other people use their credit cards to pay for daily expenses such as a quick lunch or groceries. Many people, and not just women as one might expect, love to practice retail therapy funded by their credit cards. A simple purchase can make them feel better after a bad day at work or a fight with a spouse. Still other people just cannot pass up a good sale. Whether it is to keep up with the Jones or just an impulse purchase, the problem is people do not see credit cards as “real” money. Pulling out a credit card is easy; it does not hurt the way paying cash for something does. When spending cash out of pocket, there is a tangible limit to the amount of money that can be spent; Credit cards do not have this tangible limit. Without limits, people spend more than they can afford as well as more money in... [continues]
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