No. of Recommendations: 18
Newsweek cover story: Maxed Out - Consumer Debt

My 2 daughters in their 20's have seen the ugly side of credit cards after getting sucked in right away at college. Both have “seen the light” and hopefully are recovering card-ites. I think they see their 'ol RE dad might be on to something, and even they could laugh at one of their peers:

”Just because I don't have the cash for something doesn't mean I shouldn't buy it,” says Jen Rinkes, 29, who carries $8,000 on credit cards and a $438-a-month Saab on her $40,000 income. “I don't think debt is a sin,” she says. “I'm living in a style I want to become accustomed to.”

I'm sure none of this comes as any surprise to people on this site, but interesting info none the less for the general populace. Unfortunately, the on-line article does not have some of the more dramatic graphics from the magazine:

Credit card debt/household:
1990: $3K
2000: $8K

Disposable income saved:
1959-early '90's: fluctuating around 8%
2001: down on the floor, ~1%

Total expenditures:
1995: <$5 trillion
2001: $7 trillion

What we buy- 1980 v. 2000:
“Needs” - products for everyday living: 12% v. 20%
“Upgrades” - products being replaced: 46% v. 56%
“Embellishments” - new/luxury products: 12% v. 20%

Home equity - % owned by owners:
1952: 80%
2001: ~55%

% of purchase price on new car:
1992: 25%
2001: 7%

And imagine the numbers w/o REHP people in there!

Makes me feel a little better about having lived a life of a certain amount of fiscal restraint.
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