Generational debt views

Debts were viewed with great caution during the depression.


Through out the century we’ve seen a significant shift in thinking when it comes to money and managing our finances. Some of the oldest people in our country right now would have been through the depression where work was scarce, money was tight and loans were something to be very cautious about. Roll forward to current times and we see people in extreme debts in many forms, e.g. personal loans, credit card debt, home loans, car loans, with an almost blasé approach to money.

How did we get here?

Those folk who came through the depression years learned how to make do. They used what they had and if they wanted to get new things they had to just suck it up and get over it. New things weren’t an option, the money just wasn’t there. Many of them grew their own fruit and veg and preserved the extras to consume in the off season.

depression debts

Families made do during the depression.

Kids played in the street, mums met at each others house for cups of tea and a shortbread, and dads played cards and drank their home brew. Ok, maybe not all of them…..(some probably distilled their own spirits!) People relied on each other, for excess food swaps, for a cup of sugar or a bag of flour. Clothes were even made from those flour sacks! And they only had a few changes of clothes along with the ‘Sunday best’ for town or church.

People made do. They thought very differently about their lot in life. They may have craved for things but they worked through their feelings OR they saved their last pennies over months or years to get them. However, they weren’t bombarded with the “consume everything now” adverts because traditional advertising was in newspapers that were mostly read by men. With only a small women’s print contingent out in the market place before news magazines started to appear, radio advertising played the advertising part but with one channel to listen too and minimal advertising by todays standards there wasn’t much influencing going on.

generations of debt thinking

Shifts in thinking about debt have been significant over the past 100 years.

Through the Baby Boomer era we saw a more relaxed attitude develop around credit along with an increase in the use of credit to support people buying their homes and subsequent investment properties. But throughout the eighties interest rates were high and people really struggled to make those repayments and bankruptcy became an all to common occurrence. This created an insecurity around credit that you could put your blood, sweat and tears into your home and lose it by missing one repayment. People in debt in this era did things in much the same way as the people in the depression era. They made do. They took kids to the beach with a packed lunch and frozen cordial in the last cordial bottle they just finished. They played cricket in the park and had BBQ’s with their mates with basic salads, potato/coleslaw and tinned beetroot; remember that? White bread with devon and tomato sauce or vegemite sandwiches for school lunches; with an apple or a squished banana.

Who are the Joneses anyway? And are they broke?

80's debts

80’s and the must have everything culture.

Keeping up with the Joneses became a popular catch phrase in the eighties but none could fathom the real extent to keeping up that started to gain traction in the nineties. People were bombarded by marketing on every channel and the fear of using credit became minimal and consumer spending on things (that weren’t necessary for everyday living) took place with barely a second thought. Then came the internet and the ability to seriously drive marketing in a really intense way to people.  As the years have rolled onto the current times we give marketers a constant stream of data to direct their market forces to encourage us to buy, buy, buy. And buy we do. Over the last 50 years people have been spending consistently beyond their means.

consumer culture

Consumer culture has never been stronger in history than right now and personal debt is increasing.


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics consumer spending in Australia averaged 95,093.14 AUD Million from 1959 until 2014, reaching an all time high of 209,729 AUD Million in the first quarter of 2014 compare that to the record low of 28,872 AUD Million in the third quarter of 1959.

What is the consequences of all this buying?  DEBT and so many in financial trouble.

What can you do about it now? 

If you find yourself in this unintended place, overwhelmed by your debt situation you don’t have to suffer it out, there are debt management solutions available to you.  It is possible to regain control of your situation and restore quality of life.  Our founders and many of our consultants have been there!  We know that sometimes life doesn’t deal us the hand we expected.  Call the friendly staff at Debt Cutter and we can discuss your options.

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