Thursday, 18 October 2007

And this is new how?

Canadians in debt denial
Canadians deeper in debt than ever before
CGA-Canada Unveils Troubling Survey Findings on Household Debt

Every year its the same ole' story. Canadians are piling up an ever increasing mountain of debt. Me? I'm suffering from debt fatigue.

My wife and I are debt adverse. We have always tried to keep our personal debt load low. By almost any measure, we have been successful. Our total household debt is less than 6 figures, so we are by no means in bad shape. But I'm going to whine anyway.

Like a lot (most?) of families, we are finding it hard to make ends meet. Our monthly expenditures are constantly exceeding our monthly income. We try so hard to be fiscally responsible, only buy what we need, keep frivolous purchases low or non-existent and we still fall behind. It gets exhausting.

And now, our fridge, dryer, dishwasher, television, DVD player, and stereo are all acting flaky. All are dying a slow death of inconsistent performance. Our car, the fuel efficient one, is now burning oil. Don't know how much longer its going to last. It just makes you want to scream.

So my wife and I have given up. We're dipping into the loan account not only to get by, but to have fun too. We want something, we buy it. Worry about the debt later. We've spent so many years living for tomorrow, we've realized that tomorrow never seems to come, in fact it seems to get further and further away. So we're adopting a more pragmatic “Live for today, for tomorrow we may die” strategy. It may not be wise, but the stress of living under a very tight budget for the last 4 years was taking an emotional toll.

We haven't completely lost our senses, our credit card is paid off, and we don't borrow more than our ability to pay. In fact, our overall debt load goes down each month, but its not going down as fast as it used too.

I used to wonder how other families did it. Why were families with lower incomes living in more expensive houses, driving nicer cars and buying those big screen TVs? I always knew that they just used debt, but I never understood it until we started doing the same. So every year these headlines are going to be repeated. If we, who our financial advisor complimented as "the most fiscally restrained couple he knows" can't keep debts under control, who the hell can?

C'est la vie.

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