Saturday, April 2, 2011

I just don't get it

Today in the paper I read an article that interviewed a young couple about their actions in dealing with the rising cost of living.

After I read their response I could only shake my head.

The article from the Courier Mail today.....(bold highlight mine)....
Ben Messina, 21, and Sharon Smith, 24, are comfortable going into a bit of debt.They found that with the rising cost of living - and a recent change in Ben's job as a retail assistant from full-time to part-time while he studies - they had less money in their pockets, even for basics such as grocery shopping.But rather than compromise on their lifestyle, they decided to rely more heavily on their credit cards."Well-managed debt is better than compromising on your lifestyle," Ben said."If it doesn't get out of control, you can just pay it back slowly - and it's not an out-of-control debt."They put most purchases - including fuel, bills and groceries - on their credit cards and pay them back when they have more money.
Now don't get me wrong - I too use my credit card to pay for groceries and fuel and bills.  But not as a source of funds to maintain my lifestyle.  As a last resort I will use my credit to pay bills and buy essentials when the budget just doesn't quite stretch to cover what it needs to this week, but I pay off what I put on at the end of the month using the money that had been budgeted for the bills.  

Key word there - budget.

I have a budget - and if I can't afford something this week/month/year, I don't get it (or I work out how to do it cheaper).  I don't see this as compromising my lifestyle, merely living within my means.  

I don't see the logic in keeping on doing what you've always done because you've always done it when it costs you more and more (certainly more than you can afford right now) by paying for it with money you are borrowing from a bank (with all their fees and interest charges) waiting in hope for the day when you can pay it back when you have more know what they say about one day....yeah, that day will never come!  

All I can do is shake my head at that sort of mentality and hope that this is only their youth and inexperience talking.  And hope that they will learn, learn quickly and without too much pain.

Otherwise in 10 years time I'll be reading about them complaining that they can't afford to buy a house or that their bank is charging them too much or that they can't afford anything because they don't have any money or that they have no credit rating.  And I don't want to be reading that.

So here's a tip young peeps.  Two tips even.  Comes free of charge (no strings attached, no conditions apply). 

  • Budget.  
  • Live within your means.  

It's. Not. Rocket. Science.

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