The costs of providing even the basic necessities that we need to survive – food, water, clothing and shelter have sky rocketed in the last five years.
The list of debits to our bank accounts providing for these basic items seems endless, food is an obvious example. Then there is the relentless bombardment from retailers that are trying to pry the only thing that is left over once all the costs of living have been deducted, our discretionary income. Judging by the rate that New Zealanders are spending, it would appear that those who ply retail goods and various luxuries or comforts beyond the basic necessities, are winning the battle for what is left over.
What is really concerning is that the message to spend, spend, spend has gone way beyond using just our discretionary income to a point that many of us, will now regularly spend much more than we earn, often without thinking about it.
Collectively Kiwis are spending $1.2 billion per month more than they earn.
It would seem that as a nation we have succumbed to the marketers spell and surrendered to the ‘pay for it later’ mentality. Not that there is anything wrong with those selling us our second car, digital cameras or DVD’s and all manor of appliances and gadgets that supposedly make life more enjoyable and comfortable. Unfortunately we have taken things to the extreme.
It would seem that many of us have forsaken prudent money management principals and sound money values, such as saving first for the things we want. Instead for the sake of instant gratification and an easy fix we are piling up debt to satisfy ourselves.
Charles Dickens the 19th Century English author once wrote – ‘If income totaled $1 and outgoings equaled 0.90 cents then the outcome is happiness. If income totaled $1 and outgoings amounted to $1.05 then the outcome is misery’.
The question is – are we passing our bad money habits onto our children without realizing it?
In my experience the answer is yes. We all want the best for our children; however we know how often we are surprised by how much we underestimate what our children learn from us. Become conscious of how you are with money around your children. What are they learning from you about money?