The Debt Double Standard

Today I saw two opposing commercials back to back, and together they summarize why we are in such global financial crisis.

The first was offering debt, the second was offering debt recovery.  They were shown one after the other.  To me this is the equivalent of a drug dealer selling his wares outside a rehab center.

We obsess about money.  Countries are going broke.  Good people struggle.  The markets are swinging high and low worse than a manic depressed patient.  If we are all worried about going under, why do we continue to accrue debt?

According to Habit: The 95% of Behavior Marketers Ignore, perhaps the reason we still spend when our brains know we should stop is because we are in that habit.  According to Neale Martin, 45% of the time we are doing the same thing every day at the same times.  Our brain knows that ordering a salad is a better choice, but our habit of ordering a fatty burger is what wins.

I’m thinking that we get in debt by habit also.  Mindless sliding of the card contributes to the stress many endure when bills come due.  We make resolutions to do better the next month but the days fly by and we find ourselves in a hopeless deja vu loop.  Habit dictates our lives.

It’s time for us to break out of our harmful spending habits and be conscious of our money choices.  Researchers show that gyms and awesome work out equipment can’t make us fit until we make the conscious choice to get fit.  The same with our spending. 

Habit is a tool, and like any tool is neither good or bad.  It’s how we use it that counts.  Today think about what you want your finances to be like, and break the debt double standard.

Here’s a few good sites to explore further:

Habit: The 95% of Behavior Marketers Ignore

The Dacyczyn Decision

The Dollar Stretcher


About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher, and author with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She co-publishes Space and Time magazine with author husband Ryan Aussie Smith. For more information visit
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