I was looking over a New York Times article about "living within your means" when it comes to credit and credit cards. And I have to say that in some ways I totally disagree with this concept based on a few key points. If you're overextended on your credit cards then you need to do something about it, this is true, and it's also true to "live within your means" but I have another viewpoint that you can look at that might be of some use to you: 1. If you're stressed out about money every month, day, hour, minute or second, then LOOK at your income and expenses, I mean really look at them. Find out how much you're paying in interest per month, your true balances, not the minimum payments, and how much you spend on every other thing in your household. Once you've done this, work out a plan to handle it. 2. If you have "problems" because of money, then do the same as number 1. 3. If you got a divorce, kicked the dog, or got foreclosed because of money, then do the same as number 1. 4. If you ever yelled at a kid, wife, family member, friend, co-worker, or barista because of money DO NUMBER 1. What I'm trying to say is that life is much easier to confront when you know exactly what it is that is creating the problems. People have trouble confronting money, by confront I just mean LOOK! And if you don't know how to work out a plan, then ask for help! I help people all the time work out plans so that they no longer have the problems listed in 1 through 4. Now, about the "live within your means" part of this whole thing; if you have a plan together and know exactly what you're going to do to handle your finances, then instead of "living within your means" how about making more money so that your "means" get bigger and bigger and instead of "living within your means" and having your attention on that, how about making more money and living your life without worrying about it and flourish and prosper! Live your life, love your people and stop kicking the dog! And then work to build YOUR American Dream. How to create YOUR American Dream What is your American Dream? I used to think that it had everything to do with having things, like houses, cars, money and literally a white picket fence. It has nothing to do with any of those things. It has to do with YOU. You make your own dreams by BEING who you want to BE, by DOING those things that you DO based on who YOU want to BE and in turn you will have a full and RICH LIFE where you HAVE that dream based on you. Not what advertisers tell you that you're supposed to have based on the newest, shiniest, most megabytes or the latest and greatest! Your dreams will make you who you are and those dreams will make you that person. Other people's ideas of what they want you to be do NOT make you who you are; they make you a robot in their scheme to control you. Don't listen to the bull shit from other people to influence you, listen to yourself, find your own American Dream within yourself, BE that person that you want to BE and you will have your American Dream! The Debt Lady Says, "Dream the impossible dream, the only one that matters, YOURS!!!!"