Over the years, through emerging generations it has become the dominant philosophy to spend big, buy big and live big.
This translates into a larger billfold of debt, which often times can’t be cradled and results in bankruptcy.
Gluttonous Spending, Lack of Savings
According to the Boston-based National Consumer Law Center, nearly 33% of all personal bankruptcy participants were found to have far less than the recommended level of personal savings.
In fact, their debt to savings ratio was so lopsided that all 33% were nearly three times inflated in their debt. Meaning, when they filed bankruptcy, they had three times as much debt as they did asset or liquidity.
Although this may seem a bit brash, it’s not uncommon to the rest of the national consumer base.
No one we interviewed on the panel was surprised to hear that consumer debt is consistent with bankruptcy filings, according to research by the Federal Reserve.
Furthermore, the same research indicates that household debt is at a record high relative to disposable income.
Debt, Lack of Savings are Weighing Us Down
It's the panel’s concern that we're at an unprecedented level of debt and it will most certainly cause serious risk to the long-term financial health of American households.
Moreover, the panel agrees with the same Federal Reserve research that tells that a high level of indebtedness among households could lead to increased household delinquencies and bankruptcies.
We asked the panel their thoughts on this and first to respond to our inquiry into the lack of savings by nearly all bankruptcy participants was our famed expert Marty Sumichrast, of the Sumichrast Report:
“I am deeply troubled by the enormous government and personal debt levels.
"There is simply no way that we can ring up a $20 trillion debt over the next 10 years and expect that we will be able to sustain our economic leadership in the world (or financial dominance in personal wealth either).”
From this honest and somewhat eye-opening response, another financial guru, Barry Ritholtz, concurred.
Ritholtz, who has spoken on such matters on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, PBS and Fox networks, asserts that the nation was in a “free fall recession from September through March, this free fall is over but we are still contracting.”
In Saving, We Will Recover
However, even though we as a nation are still in an economic constraint, Ritholtz urges that does not mean there shouldn’t be unprecedented levels of personal savings.
He feels that it will only be in saving that our nation will recover.
As in other facets of life, in any storm there is birth.
It is the job now of all who can, to give birth to a new zeitgeist of fiscal well being.
Everyone on the panel agrees that being frugal is now the chic way of life. “It is now cool to be frugal.”
Capitalizing on the new style of saving more and spending less is Meg Beach.
While Ms. Beach holds a Masters Degree from the University of Massachusetts in Neuroscience, she actually finds herself spending the majority of her time working from her blog Being Resourceful.
This innovative blog was designed by Beach to recommend the inside scoop on all things savvy.
Beach offers daily discounts, savings and special offers by top retailers that otherwise would be lost in the vastness of the Internet.
This format is becoming increasingly popular as more and more consumers around the country are searching for avenues of saving.
Ms. Beach excitedly remarks on the new style of save large and spend small:
"My audience for Being Resourceful is anyone who wants to pinch pennies without sacrificing the splurge! Through regular visits to the site, readers will find amazing deals on the basics like food and clothing, and also on the more fun things like entertainment, accessories and even home improvement, sporting events and gifts.
"I post links to printable coupons, offer discount codes for online purchases, and give a head’s up for great sales. On top of killer discounts, for someone who might be facing bankruptcy, Being Resourceful offers great ways to cut expenses in half through buy-one-get-one-free (“BOGO”) coupons.
"Life doesn’t end when someone faces bankruptcy; they just need to have a paradigm shift, and these deals can help sweeten the deal!"
Those interviewed made it clear that to not only to recover from, but also to avoid filing bankruptcy, it is imperative to maintain a savings that is intertwined within a personal budget.