According to recent studies by financial planning sites, ~70% of Americans have less than $1k in savings. They might have investments, assets, or bonds. But not having a sufficient savings account means that Americans are treating credit cards as a safety net. Heavily depending on their banks to maintain their lifestyles. This trust is surprising since the banks have been known to fail every few decades.
The Bay Area is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. Many people every year move to this area for business, technology, and opportunities. A lot of people, a lot of money. Property prices here are now insanely high, and many locals have been priced out by foreign investors. Driving up the costs, and driving out locals.
For a moment, I thought that a ‘lack of savings’ meant that people were living paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling under the rising costs of living. But then it occurred to me, that people have no need to ‘save’ money, since they are able to run up expenses on credit and worry about paying it off later. We’re all part of the larger economic system since everyone has a bank, even people with no money.
Can you imagine if animals never prepared for harsh winters, if they could simply get a loan to cover their own poor planning, and purchase everything they need to survive in the eleventh-hour. Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Majority of us are failing to plan for future expenses, which means that we aren’t balancing our budgets, and we are not living within our means.
Some of this isn’t our fault, the cost of living in the world today is significantly more expensive that it was 50 years ago. But we failed to adapt to those raising costs. Instead, we cling to traditional societal ideals about normality, and continue to purchase things we believe we need (but we don’t actually need). Our consumer culture keeps us shackled to our debt.