Groton, VT (PRWEB) January 14, 2004 -
It was December 25, the presents were unwrapped and the Christmas cheer passed aroundÂsix days later, as the world witnessed the turning of another year, the inescapable reality of holiday debt began to weigh heavy upon the heart of America. Debt has become a powerful movement in American culture and for many, is causing concern for the future stability of the U S economy.
ÂConsumer debt has more than doubled in the past 10 yearsÂ and to the tune of a Ârecord $1.98 trillion in October 2003Â according to Eileen Alt Powell a Business Writer for the Associated Press. Powel points out in her news release Americans build mountain of debt, savings rate slides ÂThe nation's credit card debt currently stands at $735 billion, or nearly $7,000 per household. And since about 40 percent of card users pay their balances in full each month, the per capita card debt of those who carry balances is closer to $12,000.Â
Gene Jolley, President of Kingdom Financial Principles (KFP) and creator of the Rapid Debt Reducer software, knows the difficulties families face when struggling with debt. ÂI see it all too often in seminars; people in their late 40Âs and 50Âs realizing that they need to do something to prepare for retirement. For many it is too late. By the time they pay off that last equity line, credit card, new car, etc, they have nothing more to save.Â
Jolley also knows that people genuinely try to avoid bankruptcy, yet according to the American Bankruptcy Institute consumer bankruptcies since 1996 have exceeded 1 million a year. The alarming statistics show that for the year 2002 bankruptcies hit a record of 1.54 million and in the first nine months of 2003 have already reached 1.25 million.
WhatÂs causing this ocean of debt in America? Some believe itÂs the result of greed where financial institutions have for several generations made the possession of credit cards easy for those previously denied such credit. Others believe massive advertising campaigns have enticed consumers into a spending frenzy unparalleled in history. Some say it is a phenomenon where an attitude exists believing material possessions will not only bring happiness but is, in fact, owed them. Howard Dvorkin, president of the nonprofit Consolidated Credit Counseling Services in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, says the Depression generation is giving way to another generation who has lost their [Depression generation] ÂvaluesÂ and their sense of ÂthriftÂ when it comes to consumer spending. To some degree it is all these and more.
What can be done to stem this tide of debt? Education is the answer. Across America financial advisors and consultants like Gene Jolley are preparing the economic futures of families and individuals fed-up with debt. TheyÂve had enough of the Âbuy nowÂpay laterÂ mentality and are learning again the tried and true values of thrift and savings. As Jolley says; ÂWhy buy stuff youÂre only going to use once and then store in the garage?Â
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