We seem to live in a culture of “spending.” Where we spend money before we even have it! In fact, we spend money that we may not have for years and years into the future (e.g. home mortgages). Personally, I believe that debt is one of the worst things a person can do for their financial future, so I caution anybody against taking out loans. At the same time, I would also caution against envy or assumptions regarding other peoples’ spending habits.
I have a “pet peeve” that so many people see others spending money and subsequently assume those spenders to be wealthy. New cars, big houses, fancy clothes, frequent and/or exotic vacations are only loosely related to actually having money. Some of the wealthiest people I know are quite frugal and rarely spend their cash because they are too busy investing it! However, our modern society makes it so hard to distinguish between spending and wealth. We are easily caught up in the excitement and luxury of “things” regardless of whether or not we can back up those things with money. Likewise, we constantly forgo opportunities to multiply our wealth by investing because we become so easily enslaved by the temptation to spend on credit or loan.
I guess this is just one of those “rants” where I need to get something out of my system… but seriously, let’s stop drawing conclusions about people’s financial stability or success based on their spending habits. The fact is, most of those I’ve personally met who make lots of exciting purchases, own large homes, fancy cars, etc are in fact the ones who have the least stable and most grim financial futures. It is a sad fact that the financial markets take advantage of human nature’s pride, greed, and coveting to exploit so many people into forgoing their futures for the “here and now.” The cost is far greater than the price tag on that new car 🙁