I was skimming through Reddit and found this (kind of) offensive video on “Why American's Are So Bad at Saving Money“. Here, have a look and let me know what you think in the comments section.
To the author's credit, it's true we aren't doing so great at saving money. As the video states, in the 1970's, American's socked away about 12% of their take-home pay. Today, that number has dwindled to 5%.
But, can you blame us?
Our “needs” have certainly changed in 40 years. Today, we “have” to buy:
- cell phone
- cell phone plan
- cable or satellite
- health club membership
- college education
- big screen tv
- desktop computer
- latest gadget
- and so on
Many of these things never existed in the 70's. But, can you imagine living a single day without your cell phone? Or the laptop?
And even with all these things we now have to purchase, the cost of everything else is also rising: food, gas, utilities – it's all going up.
Add to that, our wages have remained stagnant.
What's an American citizen to do? Well, not save money, I guess (I hope you are detecting an overtone of sarcasm at this point).
You just can't save money?
I guess what I'm most troubled by is the notion that we American's just can't save money. That (according to the video) “we can't be trusted to save money“.
While it took me awhile to grasp the importance of putting money away, I am not sure that mandatory savings is the way to go.
What do you think? Do you participate in a workplace that requires you to opt-out of 401k or other retirement savings plans? Do you think American's should be force to pay into savings (much like we do with taxes)?