Consumerism and Spending Money You Don't Have

Consumerism Feb 12, 2019

Americans love consumerism. Americans are always purchasing goods and services whereas businesses are constantly coming up “great” and “new” ways to help us pay even when we cannot afford it. While businesses “encourage” us with marketing to purchase goods we do not need and cannot afford, we are digging ourselves into a hole.

After all, what happens when we cannot afford a good? We rack up credit card debt and companies love it when we do this. Your credit card debt looks amazing on their bottom line.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Most people are not paying off their credit card debt in full every month. According to the 2016 Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, the average American ages 35 and under has $3,700 in credit card debt. That is a lot of debt.

By advertising and supplying credit, businesses encourage us to purchase more at our own expense. Can you see how this harms us? It has created a culture of debt. We consume more goods and services than we need or can afford.

A system has been created to take advantage of our lack of self control and make it okay to spend money. How often have you purchased an item that you do not need with your credit card? Could you have purchased that same item with the money in your bank account?

We need to ask ourselves, do we really need this item and does it provide long term value?

It is especially bad for anyone entering the workforce now because of the student debt they are saddled with. I don’t need to tell you how bad student debt is, just check your bank account every month.

Consumerism isn’t all bad and as a matter of fact, it is GREAT. It is the main driver for economic growth in the U.S.

According to YCharts, U.S. personal consumption makes up 68.95% of our economy. In other words, our everyday purchasing decisions and culture of debt drives the economy. Along with booming economic growth, the stock market also goes up.

People who do not participate in the culture of debt and invest in the stock market reap all the gains. Similar to other investors, my net worth increases, while the rest of America plunges itself deeper into debt every year.

This does not have to be the case. You can take advantage of U.S. stock market growth by making smart decisions.

Smart Tips and Decisions to Think About

1. Do you have a budget?
2. Do not spend money you do not have
3. Too hard? Maybe you need a reason to delay instant gratification, think of retirement
4. Thinking about retirement? Start saving and investing NOW
5. Watch your money grow

If you aren’t falling into the culture of debt, then keep up the good work. If you are stuck in never ending debt, then stop spending so much and start focusing on paying down your debt.

If you would like to request a specific topic you want to learn more about, please let me know in the comments section below or email me at!

Cover Image: unsplash-logoPHUOC LE

DISCLAIMER: This blog references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice. This blog makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Please do your own comprehensive research before investing in anything.


Alan Chen

Hi! One day, I will build a technology company that will change the world. Right now my focus is teaching personal finance. Now that you know a little about me, feel free to reach out and chat!

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.