Channel surfing last Friday night, I caught a few minutes of Suze Orman on CNBC. She had on her show not only the worst case of “living above your means” I have ever seen, but the worst case Suze has seen, too!
The Orange County, California woman and her husband admitted to having monthly living expenses of $19k on an after-tax income of only $9k a month! Their income didn’t even cover the payments on their million dollar mortgage and the minimum payments on $230k of credit card debt spread over more than 20 credit cards! Their only asset was a 401(k) valued at about $45k, which they wanted to borrow upon not to dig out of debt but to continue their lifestyle!
And, get this: Although the husband realized their dire straits and was considering bankruptcy, his wife wouldn’t hear of it. And, when Suze told her to sell their home and everything they owned and move into an apartment, she just shook her head and said “that won’t happen.”
They dug themselves into an extreme hole to keep up with the Jones, and they’d rather stay buried than admit to the lie they’d been living.
Credit card debt is not the end of the world; but you have to be strong enough to do what it takes to fight the problems that got you there and get out! If you can’t live within your means, debt will suffocate you forever.
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