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700 Billion Dollar Bail Out...But What About 850 Billion Dollar Credit Card Debt The Nation Carries?

    maine youth, working on potato harvest

The media's effort to make a cartoon out of a complex series of events that put the country in this fine kettle of fish, has many twists and turns worthy of discussion in the financial knot we are buried in now.

For example, part of the nightmare is that households with credit card balances in this country carry an average balance of $17,000.  If it is well known the country is not known as a whole as being savers. Now thru tougher economic times, saving is less of an option or habit as John Q Public struggles with his oil bill or monthly gas expenses. Isn't the tendency to whip out the plastic part of the problem though?  The technical term is "poor impulse control" or clever ads that entice like sirens to buy this, gotta have that, you deserve some of these is part of the financial strain.  If your household income can not afford Jimmy or Jane's cell phone, if your kid's car insurance of close to $2000 is too big a strain, as a parent, can you speak up? Before the end of the financial rope arrives do you discuss as a family we are making some changes for survival ? Are priorities outlined and established with a plan talked over at a family pow wow or the dinner table? And what is the reaction of your child? Scared, indignant, denial, sulking or amazement, willingness to help?  As you try to understand the financial markets, the cycles, the influences and the shape of the situation we are in...consider too what happens in each household in America with the family financials. Look at Main Street..not just Wall Street. Is there a family budget? Are we living within our means? No money flowing in suddenly makes the basics of what you need to live scream out loudly for all to see. Are you watching the news and talking with your kids about the economy, showing them how to save money, or gratitude you have savings to get you thru a bump in the road?  Loss of jobs happen, health issues cause financial ruin along with prolonged divorces.  But don't you think some of the delinquent mortgages are with folks carrying an $800 car payment that is beyond their means or simply too many pieces of plastic in their wallet or purse tempting them as they wander thru the mall wondering what they don't have that they would really like to take home with them?  Don't you think some depressed people low cost maine home for sale,haynesville maine"feed" the depression with the temporary "let's buy something" shopping habit to cheer themselves up artificially even though we all know the credit card bills will start to over flow mailboxes around the country? The country has financial symptoms...but the patient, the tax payers has ills that need correction too. What's your take? In northern Maine, local teenagers work for their ipods, pay for their winter clothes, contribute to household expenses and feel good doing it.  They have jobs. The Aroostook County potato harvest is in full swing and Mainer's live within their means.  They are cautious spenders because our local real estate values do not spike $200,000 up and down on each home like part of the country.  Heck..you maine real estate broker, andrew mooerscan buy a quality home for in the $20's..like this one to the right! Maine..the way life should be.

  Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers - Maine Real Estate Broker In Houlton Maine / Aroostook County

info@mooersrealty.com | 207.532.6573

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Comment balloon 5 commentsAndrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 • September 25 2008 08:54AM

Comments

Great blog Andrew.  I used to work at a financial institution and although we had the best rates in town on our credit card, it was clear that most people live well beyond their means.  They charge up the credit cards, then took out a HE to consolidate everything.  After a few cycles of doing this (because home prices were on the rise) then all of the sudden people wake up and they can't make their payments.........

Posted by Lewis Beynon, Triangle Real Estate 411 (CENTURY 21 Triangle Group) almost 12 years ago

I am surprised that the average amount of credit card debt that the average adult carries is that high.  I am not disputing that figure but I find it a little shocking.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) almost 12 years ago

17,000. wow...I am not surprised.

Posted by Jack Climer (Jack Climer Realty, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Sam ..figure blew my mind too because if that is the average balance carried like a cinder block around your neck, think of the other $30,000 and higher amounts caused by a little piece of plastic.  When you live in rural America and don't carry a balance it is very easy to be naive on what is happening in more expensive places on the planet.  Move to Maine..we don't own a taser and would not know how to use one from lack of use if we did!

Lewis...the juggling to transfer from this card to this card...blows my mind but if I carried a monthly debt service, it is part of the game to delay interest right? I get calls from credit card outfits..usually around the time I am preparing dinner for the kids...and the nice foreign voice asks in a tone I can barely understand if I have any credit card balances I would like to transfer.  It struck me that many people have multiple cards they carry.  I do not and will not own money..and savings help people feel good and sleep nights.  It is soooo much cheaper to live in Maine.

Jack..I said wow too.  Andy

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 12 years ago

Andrew -my new associate - thank you for your comments on my associate page - much appreciated and you're right I am passionate about my work.  I just had to stop by and add you as well - momentarily - and read a few of your blogs.  I love this one for many reasons.  The picture - love potatoes and with my dad being from Ireland they were a staple in my house (not that it was the point of you putting it up there but I just love the photo.)  I believe that number - 17,000 and in my house with both mine and my husbands salaries - we are trying to make ends meet, reduce debt, and manage all the escalating expenses with 4 kids, add to it the cost of gas, food and just the bare essentials.  We are sharing (but not scaring) our kids with the facts about the economy and showing them how to save - each has their own account, how to earn things (not just be given them - I only remember getting "gifts" for my birthday and Christmas - not throughout the year, like a daily event) and how to work hard in everything they do.  I could go on and on and I think I have so I will just end with, it was a pleasure to read your post and I look forward to corresponding more with you. 

Note: I'm originally from MA, so I always feel a special connection to my Northeast friends. ~Anne Marie

Posted by Anne Marie Malf, Real Estate Marketing Consultant/Virtual Asst, Bucks County,PA (Malfi Marketing Solutions ~ for real estate professionals) almost 12 years ago

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