If you grew up in America with parents born in America, the odds of you living below your means is rare. Many Americans spend 110% of what they make every year by putting everything on credit. When buying a car, the question becomes, how much is the monthly payment. If one can afford it, they sign on the dotted line and commit themselves to a 6 year loan on vehicle that could depreciate 25% as soon as you drive off the dealer’s lot.

The greatest generation experienced scarcity and hardship so they wanted to live on cash, not credit. As credit and advertising have exploded in the United States, the country has gotten soft. They want the minimum payment with no worries to the total principle and interest over the time of the whole loan. When a borrower commits to that, they screw themselves out of thousands and thousands of dollars over their lifetime.

The borrower becomes the servant of the lender. Or in more eye-opening words, the borrower becomes a slave to the one that loaned them the money.

Down to earth, Becky, in the video above, suggests that you take out no more than a 10 year loan for your house. If you are willing to live with less, you will have more freedom in areas of your life which might become much more important over time.

Your values will likely change as you get older. At first, you want it all, then later in life, you realize that everything you own, really owns you. Many ambitious people realize in their 50s that they want to downsize and simplify their life.