The Real Cost of the American Dream
Entitlement in the U.S.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness- ideals that paved the way to the “American Dream.” This freedom to attain prosperity, once gained through just the right amount of sweat and determination, has now evolved to a sense of entitlement which cannot be maintained without plenty of debt.
Why are Americans not achieving the dream?
High expectations lead to high debt
2014 American Consumer Stats:
- Total Debt: $11.68 trillion
3.7% increase from 2013
- Credit Card Debt: $854.2 billion
- National Student Debt: $1.2 trillion
- Mortgages: $8.5 trillion
Average American household expenditures in 2012: Total: $51,442
- Housing: $16,887
- Transportation: $8,998
- Food: $6,599
At home: $3,921 & Away from home: $2,678
- Other: $3,557
- Health care: $3,556
- Entertainment: $2,605
- Apparel and Services: $1,736
After the 2008 financial crisis, credit card debt peaked in January 2009
2010: U.S. debt fell quickly
Total credit card debt was lowered as delinquent loans were written off, not paid off
- Food, shelter and clothing are not nearly enough, Americans spend a lot of money:
- 59% of consumers spend more than $100/month on cellphones
- 21% say they spend more on their phone than on groceries
- 13% spend more than $200/month on cellphones
- 2011: Americans spend more than $61 billion on pets
Average $500 per household
- Each week, the average American spends $20 on coffee
That’s $1,092 per year
Compared to work commute: $1,476 per year
- 66% prefer to buy lunch rather than bringing it from home
Average per week $37
Average per year $1,924
- Purchase of lottery tickets has gone up every year since 1965
Up to $66.5 billion in 2011
Chances of winning with one ticket is 1 in 175 million
- Gym memberships:
- 67% of Americans who have gym memberships waste about $468 a year by not using them
- Gym membership costs on average $39 per month
How to afford your own American Dream:
- Make good work ethic a priority.
- Be frugal- even when you don’t have to be.
- Make saving the rule- not just an option.
- Don’t fall into the debt trap!
Realistic expectations keep the dream alive and the dreamer happier!