Debt, Gratification, & The Seduction of the Now

Debt PicIn a recent live journal entry, I asked, “How much money would be freed up if you were not in debt? . . . And what could you do with that money instead?” The key point was that you could save that money or invest it.

And thus we approach the age-old dilemma: savings versus debt.

In earlier entries in this series on money, sex, and power, we looked at the western money psychology, the dynamics of capitalism, the economic rules of survival, the service economy, and the living wage. And now we turn our gaze to debt.

Consider this: what if instead of purchasing debt (which is what you do when you use your credit card), you instead purchased interest (which is what you do when you save money)? With debt, you are constantly purchasing more debt with each payment that does not pay it off. With savings, you are constantly purchasing more interest each time you do not spend it.

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liz (not verified) | Wed, 05/03/2006 - 9:30am

Paying for a movie with a credit card is just a smidget of what we wiill do to avoid that nasty little shadow, that little voice in our head that says, "go inward and take a look around". (Just take a look for pete's sake!!) No-no. It's too awkward, too deep, too uncomfortable, too weird, too dark, too complicated. It makes us feel....icky. We would much rather drown out the sight and sound of it by media, "experiences", and images-a constant barrage of pictures in magazines and catalogs, movies, the incessant blare from the television, shopping, Las Vegas (where no one will ever reveal our little secret, wink-wink). Is it necessary to have music piped into every room of the house 24/7? Can we bear a moment of silence alone with our thoughts? Does anyone stop and take notice of the hole that is sucking the energy out of their lives? Get off the treadmill and stand still for a moment. Please.

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