Public releases from one of the agencies of the United States Treasury Department showed that debt in America reached the unsustainable level of 13.79 trillion dollars in 2010. This debt is essentially composed of public debt and of consumer debt. Public debt regroups the money owed to hedged funds, private investors, mutual funds, pension funds, and other countries. Consumer debt is the debt that an American consumer creates by purchasing goods and services.
Credit Cards and Household Debt
According to some reports, an American household is in possession of three and a half payment cards on average, which clearly demonstrates the existence of a strong correlation between the level of actual debt in America and the number of cards held by the average consumer. Indeed, those same reports pointed that about over six hundred million credit cards were in circulation in 2010.
Studies show that in America, the group of people who are between fifty years old and fifty-nine years old are those whose total debt is the highest. Effectively, the average accumulated debt for that group is 20,157 dollars. In contrast, seniors who are seventy years old and over are the least indebted group, as their average total debt is just six thousand dollars. Individuals whose age is comprised between thirty and thirty-nine owe slightly more than fifteen thousand dollars on average.
Overspending is one of the main problems that American consumers must address in the years to come. Indeed, studies show that the expenses of American households are usually much higher than their income, which explains why most of these families remain in debt for extended periods of time. One thing that this country can do to ameliorate its financial future is to discipline citizens about the way that they spend.
The recent financial crisis has shown Americans how unsustainable it is to live above their means and that this rule applies to any country in the world.