The modern attitude to debt

The more I recognise I’m now an adult, the more I start to analyse the behaviour of other “adults” around me.
Unfortunately this doesn’t always lead to positive conclusions. Adults are often selfish, greedy, unkind things.

Nothing highlights this more clearly than consumerism and debt.
The rise of Afterpay, wearable convenient forms of payment and ever easier access to digital money that doesn’t even feel real. The consequence of money never existing as cash in your hand is that it doesn’t feel like you ever really have it, which makes it even easier to let go of when you spend it. Harder to resist as well. Families have some serious child education to tackle here because now more than ever, money feels like a game.

Thanks to multitudes of loans and microloans now available, debt has never been more accessible. We are now seeing TV advertisements for micro loans and payment methods now supported by watches and online banking apps. Cash is becoming less important and necessary.

Home loans, student loan debt, credit card debt and car loan debt. When do we stop? When is it too much Or do you just learn to live with the idea that you may always have debt and be asset-rich instead. Do we want to be asset-rich anymore?

Asset-rich culture and “debt is normal” culture promotes things as the cornerstone of your life. You may have seen the show War on Waste that was on ABC free to air TV in Victoria recently – this is all about looking at the amount of waste that Australians create on a day to day basis and the lack of attention to how and why we are disposing of more things than ever. The coffee cups, the fast fashion, the tech hardware from the last 10 years of dramatic growth and constant upgrades.

In a reaction to this insane amount of waste and debt, we are seeing small talks about sustainability, minimalism and the practice of less become louder. While this kind of talk is not always great for economic growth (in particular the fast fashion and quick turnaround retail sectors) it’s a blessing to my ears. Smarter ways of living and growing are becoming more and more essential to business discussions. We are more aware of these discussions happening around environmental resources like water and energy than we are about retail products. I would personally love to see more brand facilitated discussions around how they deal with their waste and use their purchase power wisely.

Bricks and mortar stores are often giving way to websites, ready made stock giving way to made to order and on demand services. So it’s not all bad news, but we still have a way to go!

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