The Blame Game

By: Chris Cooper

Unfortunately there is a growing trend in the US to blame someone else for our own mistakes or bad decisions.

If you build your house on the beach and it gets blown over by a hurricane, FEMA will take care of rebuilding it.

If you eat too much, some nice trial lawyer will be happy to sue McDonalds or Ben & Jerryís for making high fat food that you decided to eat too much of.

If you smoke, it was the tobacco makersí fault and thereís billions to be made on those class action lawsuits.

And on and on it goes.

There seems to be a growing trend in the financial field to blame lenders for the terrible plight too many borrowers are in. After all they had the gall to market a product, credit, that they wanted you to use so they could make money.

They bombard college students from the first day of school with credit card offers.

They send you unsolicited offers of new credit in the mail.

They allow you to carry 5, 6 or more different credit cards with cumulative credit limits well above your ability to repay.

And of course there are the easy repayment terms that will stretch you debt out indefinitely.

But, just because they offer these products doesnít mean you have to accept them. And if you accept them, it doesnít mean you have to use them.

There are many temptations in life: be they high fat foods, tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, gambling or credit. There is also a surplus of information on the Internet, in books, in magazines and newspapers and on the nightly TV news about the dangers of misusing any or all of these substances.

With all the information available, itís puzzling, not so much that people get into financial difficulties, but that they seek to blame someone else for their problems.

There are many misfortunes that can strike any of us through our lives. Accidents, sickness and layoffs are not uncommon and we should be prepared for them.

Too many people will let life take them wherever it may, make no provisions for their future, and take no steps to protect themselves against potential catastrophes.

Then, when disaster strikes or reckless spending is so far out of control that they can no longer do anything about it, they look around for someone to blame.

Nobody can put a gun to your head and force you to cut up your credit cards or control your spending. No one can force you to work harder to earn more money or go back to school to get more training.

Being adult is being responsible for your behavior. You can sue the credit card companies for extending you credit and, in this climate, you might even win. But what have you accomplished by passing the buck. You made a binding agreement that you broke. The simple fact is there is really no one else to blame.

Almost half the population of the United States doesnít have one credit card, yet they get by just fine. Instead of blaming others for your financial problems, why not emulate them, live within your means and enjoy life.

Itís not easy, but itís not impossible either.

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By:Chris Cooper. For more personal finance articles, visit The Personal Finance Center.

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