One of my favorite DVR shows is Til Debt Do Us Part. It’s a Canadian show on CNBC at strange times (I think it’s Sunday nights at the moment) so DVR has been awesome. I think it’s interesting, how some people know they’re being stupid and some don’t, how some blame and some enable, how some shape up and some never do. And it always inspires to check my Mint account and make sure I’m not blowing *every* arbitrary budget it set for me.
So, given my interest in Gail, when ads for a similar show started, I set the DVR to record the premiere marathon (it’s not a new show, despite what the ads say). It’s called Big Spender and differs in a number of ways. That’s fodder for another post.
The point to all of that is I’ve been watching budgets and consequences and communication and such all day as I’ve been logged on color-coding spreadsheets. And I think money needs to be talked about.
Money is one of those things that people worry about, stress about, fight about. They say it’s the leading cause of divorce in the US. There’s a thriving blog culture and tons of Pinterest boards giving voice to getting by on less. A Family of Five on $10,000 a Year! You know the Pins.
But where is the rational talk? Solid middle class, above the poverty level but below the 2%, a bit of debt but no foreclosure looming?
The experts like to talk. 40 percent here, 6 months salary savings, 35 percent there. So, once you pay off a mortgage (or if you are blessed to not have a home payment) what’s the appropriate new home for that money? Or how much do budgets change for various stages of your life and your kids’?
Farmers also have the added stress of high capital, high risk, slow investment agriculture. Six months’ salary is an irrelevant metric.
Experts talk a lot, and CNBC reality shows are the extreme cases, but with the average American having $14,000 in credit card debt, I’m willing to bet common sense “money sense” is not so common. For one, Cosmo and Glamour telling you that you’re worth a $500 pursr splurge – who the hell do they think they are? And who do they think YOU are?
So where does the conversation need to start? Where do you feel undereducated?