Stuff-Itis: A common condition found in many individuals that causes strain in relationships and can ravage your financial state. Symptoms include but are not limited to out of control spending, putting "things" before people, living beyond your means, neglecting your actual financial obligations, etc. The cure for Stuff-Itis is practicing the word 'no' and discipline. For more information see 'Keeping up with the Joneses' and 'Spoiled Brat Syndrome'
I am happy to report at the ripe age of 25 I am a Stuff-Itis survivor, going on a few years now. **Hold your applause** Being on the other side of things now, it's hard to comprehend how I ever came down with it in the first place, but I definitely did and I can spot it in other's from a mile away. You may be thinking to yourself "Well, actually, I don't even know that many people with that great of 'stuff'" haha...that's the funny, yet sad part. Sometimes the 'stuff' is just the lack of being responsible enough to plan ahead and pack your lunch. Packing a lunch, I would venture to say, would save the average American a few hundred dollars a month he (or she) could be throwing at their debt or their savings or their kids college fund. 'Stuff' doesn't necessarily mean owning a Rolls Royce. Sometimes is does though, sometimes it is a hefty car payment or an outrageous toy that no matter how you spin it, there's no logical way to justify some people's purchases (I'm talking about the ones typically financed with an interest rate that would make grandma passout), except "I work hard, wah wah, I want it".
Stuff-Itis is a MAJOR, if not the ONLY, player in the reason our economy is taking as big of a dump as it is. Everyone wants to pass the buck, but it ALWAYS come down to the individual. The 'banks' did not do this. A bank is merely a building where people put money in vaults (loose definition, rest assured I'm not an idiot) Were there some corrupt individuals who swindled some folks? Absolutely. But you show me one swindled person and I'm sure I could find hundreds of people suffering from Stuff-Itis trying out-do the idiot in the next cubicle trying to get some bogus loan with his bogus salary. STUPID.
With each generation, its becoming more of an epidemic. COME ON MY 20-SOMETHING AND 30-SOMETHING YEAR OLD FRIENDS!! Let's turn this around!! Let's go back to the ways of our grandparents and great-grandparents. Let's take our work ethic up more than a few notches!! Let's pay cash and reduce our debt. Let's not make the mistakes of our parents and live on b0rrowed money or be a slave to our thousands and thousands of student loans. The cliche "if there's a will, there's a way" has more truth than I could ever describe and when you have the will and you find the way you will be 10- times the person you were before. Let's purge ourselves of all these worldly treasures and so-called status symbols when were actually drowning in debt and dont have a dime to our names. As Dave Ramsey says "Let's Live like no one else so later we can Live Like no one else."
Great resources to learning more about Stuff-Itis and starting to pave the way for our generation to pull a 180. check out Dave Ramsey's site that is loaded with advice and even more reliable resources and support.
Cheers to you for taking the first step in finding a cure for yourself and making it a better place for OUR kids and grandkids!