I want to start this off by explaining that I have no official titles in the financial or economic world. In fact, the only credentials I have are in an entirely different field. However, I do not intend this article to be in a scholarly journal, just to be useful to someone else. So without further ado, I will begin.
So, today I noticed an article which peaked my interest. There is currently a 4k TV which is 120 inches being offered on the market. At first, I was marveling at its power (or lack of power consumption), its size and sheer beauty. Something this amazing is bound to be a game changer for the big sports fans, and is a real contender against projection based systems. The techno-nerd in me was going ape-shit on this one.
That is, until I saw the price. $130,000. I’ll let that sink in for a moment. A TV, albeit an amazing one, costs more than a freaking house! OK, well the price point got me thinking about these things. They have people out there who buy this, and they probably have a LOT of money. However, that isn’t the only people who would buy it. It sounds almost unfathomable, but people are taking out loans to get this TV, and it is costing them more than a house payment.
Those people who bought that TV are certainly cool though. I bet you they are the talking point of the town. Any party at their house has to be amazing. And, that is where I have to stop and say, I have not seen anyone or know of anyone who actually bought this TV. I would hope noone would buy this TV, because it is a horrible idea. This is a play thing of the rich, and it is simply way too much for anyone who isn’t super rich to even consider.
This is why I wanted to make this post. Too often do you see people complaining about bills and how little they have, sometimes barely getting food on the table. These same people have a brand new Jacked up 4×4 Taurus in the garage with all of the options and so much aftermarket parts, it’s hard to even call it a truck and not a beast. Or they will have a massive TV, a full fine china set, and the latest fall fashion.
The problem is that we place our need for social acceptance before that of survival. We as a society place debt in a very low priority level. You see it every day, commercials inciting how easy it is to get a loan, or how to refinance your current loan. At the same time, other commercials are letting you know how horrible of a person you are if you don’t get the latest and greatest of toys for your collection.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with getting what you want when you have the financial means to get it, it is an entirely different animal when you are doing this without the money available. If you begin to find yourself in a trap of only buying something because someone else will find it cool, or you think it will improve your chances at being successful, think long and hard about it. Many times, you will find you don’t really need it.
One tip, which I use regularly, is to ask a third party. Someone in no way bound by your societal rules. Typically I call my brother. We bounce things back and forth, and he keeps me from making mistakes and I try to do the same for him. He about flipped a lid when I told him I was looking at buying a new Xbox One without being out of debt.
I am sure you have heard the phrase “What’s in your wallet?” That commercial is a perfect example of how the banks are trying to guide you back into debt. The only people who really care “What’s in your wallet?” are the people who stand to gain by being in your wallet. Almost everyone you will ever meet in your life could care less what is in your wallet. Stop letting what you think society thinks keep you from getting out of debt.