This post may rub some people the wrong way and I’m sorry about that but it’s how I feel. I’m getting so tired of people blaming others for their problems. I think this country, and the world as a whole, would be much better off if everyone just accepted responsibility for their actions.

What ever happened to personal responsibility? Why is it that your financial problems are usually because of someone else? Don’t get me wrong, I know sometimes bad things happen to good people. I know bad things happen sometimes but most of the time, it’s our own fault.

I get so tired of people talking about how evil the credit card companies are. Yeah, some of them are evil but they are a business and businesses are designed to make a profit. While I may not agree with all of their practices and fees, no one requires you to have credit card debt. I blame no one but myself for the credit card debt I racked up during my younger years. Maybe the credit card interest rates and fees weren’t fair but I accepted those practices when I decided to use the card. I paid them off and now I don’t have to worry about them anymore. I don’t know what the interest rates are on my credit cards and I don’t care. I no longer carry a balance so I don’t pay any interest. If I can’t pay the balance off in full the next month, I don’t use the card. I only spend what I can afford to pay. I’ve become the type of customer that the credit card companies hate. They lose money on me since I don’t pay them any interest. Of course they still get some money from the merchants where I use the card but as far as paying them thousands of dollars in interest; nope, not me, not anymore.

This whole home foreclosure “crisis” is so frustrating to me. I bought a home that I could afford and I make the agreed upon payment each month. There are some people that bought homes with crazy mortgages that they could not afford. They are now blaming the mortgage companies for making their payment unaffordable. No, No, No, back up a bit. Remember all those papers you signed at the closing table? Did you read them? Did you understand what you were going to paying? Yeah, I know there are some people that did buy homes they could afford and knew exactly what they were getting into. They made the payment as agreed until some type of life event caused them to no longer be able to afford the home. For those people, I generally feel bad for and don’t mind them getting help. For the most part though, the majority of those foreclosures though were a result of people being irresponsible.

A couple of months back, I read an article online where these people in California are just walking away from their homes because they are upside down and the banks are refusing to lower their payment. WTF?

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?


  1. Anonymous // April 20, 2010 at 2:14 PM  

    it's funny that you guys both dealt with this topic on the same day! check this out..
    :) xoxo-nklsmom

  2. Mike // April 20, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

    I agree. I've felt this way for a while, and thing the country would be much better off if everyone just stepped up and owned their mistakes and responsibilities.

  3. Stephanie // April 20, 2010 at 3:00 PM  

    Credit card companies do not lose money on you. They receive a percentage of the sale as a collection fee. This is turn, leads to higher prices set by the store in order to make up for this loss. So, you're going to pay them no matter what.

  4. Tom // April 20, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

    Oh, I completely agree!

  5. Laura // April 20, 2010 at 7:53 PM  

    I completely agree!!! I have NEVER understood how people can charge an outrage amount and then think that they only need to pay back the minimum payment. Then they get upset when they start getting hounded! It doesn't make ANY sense!

  6. Abigail // April 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM  

    This is a frequent topic of mine. I just don't understand how people can muster moral outrage for things like credit card companies.

    Companies are capitalists. They're out to make money off you. On the other hand, you're out to use them too -- either to get rewards or, unfortunately, to spend what you don't have.

    Stop complaining that they're evil.

    Same with banks who let you buy too much house or whatever. Just admit you fouled up, already!

    Tomorrow, I'm doing a post about responsibility too (great minds think alike?): responsibility both for our actions and our inactions.

  7. Anonymous // April 21, 2010 at 1:27 PM  

    Hey now. As a single guy myself without any credit cards, any debt, anything of value except 2 suits, a car, and a laptop; I have to say you need a break.
    Dudes, not having any credit gets people ruffled pretty quick.
    "What? You are crazy! How are you going to buy a house?"
    "What? How do you buy airplane tickets?"
    "What? How do you not have debt?"
    The other side of the fence may look greener, dudes, but both have their pitfalls.
    Getting called crazy and ignorant gets old pretty fast.
    Yeah, I will get one, someday, when the agreement is 5 pages of 12 point font only. Until then, I know myself pretty well, and I know I'm not going to read it, or have the legal mind to decipher the agreement.
    Just remember, we are all just trying our best here people, well, most of us, most of the time.

  8. Financial Samurai // April 22, 2010 at 12:19 AM  

    Yep, if we just owned up, like stop blaming others for buying an expensive home, we'd all be good!

  9. Anonymous // April 22, 2010 at 8:00 AM  

    What kills me are the stories of people who were making $40k a year and became mortgage brokers and made over $100k for like one year and immediately began living large? I see a news story on someone like this all the time. They are inevitably in foreclosure and crying about it. If that happened to me I would keep the same lifestyle and save a ton of money.

  10. Joe Plemon // April 23, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

    I totally agree. If people accepted more personal responsibility they wouldn't take the financial risks they do. If they didn't take those risks, much of the mortgage crisis wouldn't have happened.

    Hopefully, a lesson we can learn from the recession is to look before leaping, and then, even if you fall, it is your responsibility to climb out of whatever mess you find yourself in.

  11. Brad Chaffee // April 23, 2010 at 3:49 PM  

    Man I have been an advocate for personal responsibility for a long time, and ever since I started using it to manage my own life, my life has only gotten better and better. The key is knowing that no matter what happens to me, whether I caused it or not, I have control over what happens next. Something doesn't have to be your fault to take responsibility for it. It seems that people not only blame others fr their mistakes, but also cease to take action if the mistake was caused by someone or something out of their control.

    No matter who's fault it is...take responsibility for it and own it!

    SGM, thanks for the awesome post man! I loved it!

  12. Money Reasons // April 24, 2010 at 11:31 PM  

    Good stuff, sometimes the truth hurts. But it's still necessary to hear!

    We are luck that we can use credit to buy home, cars, and go to college. Without credit to have such things, we would have an elite class while the rest of us live like peasants...

    Another plus is that there is no debtors prison like the old days too!!!

    The key it to control debt and not let it control you!

  13. Unknown // April 25, 2010 at 2:35 PM  

    I completely agree with your point: so many people too easily put the blame on someone else. I think the real problem is that it's difficult to confess to a problem. For example, maybe people are spending way more than they make because they are trying to "keep up with the Jones's." Or, perhaps it's greed that's driving their behavior.

    I live in California and when the housing marketing was ballooning upward, I knew something was fishy. It didn't make sense how all of these home buyers were able to afford $500K + homes (the cheapest, dinkiest, home averaged this price). Luckily, I kept my head our of the clouds and didn't get sucked into the bubble. Too many people went in thinking their home would never lose value and they better buy before it was worth one million dollars! There was a lemming effect taking place.

    I'm with you, I don't feel bad about these people walking away from their homes. They should have read the fine print and done a little historical research on home prices.