“People are not willing to modify their lifestyle in order to live on what they earn – that is the real problem.” Larry Winget, author of “You’re Broke Because You Want To Be” on the root cause of the current economic crisis. [AllFinancialMatters]


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  1. FreemanB says:

    Not buy something just because you can’t afford it? Doesn’t that mean the terrorists have won?

  2. Word, Larry. Word.

  3. missdona says:

    I love this guy. He had a show on A&E called Big Spender.

    He would go to the houses of people who didn’t pay their bills for 6 months, but still bought designer clothes every day and drove the most expensive SUV. He’d humiliate them and give them a budget/lifestyle change.

    Loved it.

  4. missdona says:


    In the opening credits, he’d say something like “no more excuses, it’s your own damn fault”

  5. You have to convince yourself that you already have enough crap in your house. For some people, that’s hard.

  6. missdona says:

    Big Spender videos–


  7. BlondeGrlz says:

    @missdona: That is exactly what he said. I love him, stupid ugly shirts and all.

    Did you say “had” because it’s cancelled?

  8. Truvill says:

    I’d agree, save for the fact that his primary job seems to be as a motivator.

  9. missdona says:

    @BlondeGrlz: There haven’t been new episodes in a long time, like a year.

  10. ElizabethD says:

    He’s right.

    My parents never had a credit card (although my brother and I thought they should). They paid cash for their house (although they probably shouldn’t have) and their cars.

    I sometimes felt left out because my friends had color televisions and we didn’t, or belonged to the country club and we didn’t.

    But my parents never, ever had to worry about debt. Wish I could say the same.

  11. jamesdenver says:

    I don’t have CC debt, own a reasonable size townhome downtown (without vaulted ceilings) share ONE car with my other half, ride my bike to work and for errands, and not ashamed to shop at the 99 cent store or the thrift store.

    Thus I have money for traveling, occasional nice meals out, and nice designer clothes and treat myself here and there. – and put money into my 401k and savings.

    ts all about judging your wants vs your needs. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself – but if you do it sparingly you’ll stay happy :)

  12. jamesdenver says:

    and out of debt…

  13. MissPeacock says:

    I realized last night that I spent $200 eating out (and that doesn’t include groceries) last month. I’m making it my new goal to cut that number in half and bring my lunch to work more often instead of taking the easy way out and grabbing something on the go.

  14. SadSam says:

    I love that Big Spender show too, I wish A&E would bring it back.

  15. NightSteel says:

    So farking true. I’m not a spending saint, but I’m debt-free, and taking a vacation to Italy this month besides (which will be paid off as soon as I get my next paycheck). I’ve got a married set of friends who have two small children and are mired in debt, yet he buys every video game console that comes out, Transformers toys for himself, new furniture..

    They know they could get out of debt if they worked at it. They just don’t want to.

  16. moore850 says:

    He should change his name to Captain Obvious… unfortunately, I guess if someone’s self-centered enough to get burned by their own bad spending habits, they’re probably also too self-centered to consider the consequences of their actions, or they wouldn’t be in that situation in the first place.

  17. SpenceMan01 says:

    If there’s one financial lesson that my parents hammered into me it was this:

    “Credit cards are good, but don’t spend more than you can afford. Pay them off in full and on time each and every month.”

    Thanks Mom and Dad.

  18. heavylee-again says:

    I saw this guy on CNBC’s The Millionaire Inside. What comes out of his mouth, good stuff.

  19. unklegwar says:

    I’m all for that, but, there ARE some people who cannot live on what they earn, plain and simple. OF course, if they got an education/skills, got better jobs, stopped cranking out kids and puppies and cats, laid off the drugs, booze, etc and everything else they can’t afford…

  20. CRNewsom says:

    This reminds me of the SNL skit “Don’t buy things you cannot afford”

    This guy has serious attitude, and I love it.

  21. So my 10 grand in credit card debt is my fault? What the hell?!
    @FreemanB: I was just trying to keep the terrorists from winning.

  22. fuzzymuffins says:

    yup. attitude change.

    too many people refuse to live on what they earn, backed up by a society that cares more about what other people are doing than themselves.. and a society that constantly tries to sell them crap that does nothing more than boost their poor self-esteem.

  23. ARP says:

    Theoretical economic question: what would happen to the economy if everyone actually did this? If eveyone lived within their means and didn’t buy too much house, no CC debt, generally frugal lifestyle (with the occassional treat), etc. Mortgages and reasonable auto loans allowed. I get the weird feeling our economy would tank as so much depends on consumer debt. Thoughts?

  24. forgottenpassword says:

    Fear is a great motivator! (it works for ME! no debt, sizeable life’s savings & growing, I put away at least 30% of my income & live a simple lifestyle)

    Sadly people seem to be fearless when it comes to living beyond their means.

    I dont feel sorry for them one bit.

  25. SadSam says:


    Dave Ramsey addresses this issue (although I have not seen any numbers) but he says that the economy would actually improve because people who are not in debt have more money to invest, more money to start small business and actually more money to spend.

  26. Bruce_A says:

    “People are not willing to modify their lifestyle in order to live on what they earn”

    Hey, if the government won’t, why should the people?

  27. ShariC says:

    Japanese people do exactly as you say and their economy hasn’t tanked. They save a lot, have very little or no debt, and tend to live within their means. Clearly, it’s not a recipe for economic disaster.

  28. synergy says:

    Many countries have a majority of their citizens living within their means and their economies haven’t tanked. Then again, their economies are also not based on debt/credit.

  29. healthdog says:

    Love Big Spender. HATE the frickin’ car commercial he does where he says to take the “cash back” from buying a new car and put it on your cc debt.

    New cars aren’t just free, they make you money?! Hot damn.