Greed. Corruption. Fear. The American economy and the government policies that drive it reek of these three words. Following the coverage of the Debt Crisis the past few years has not only become redundant, it's nauseating! But I will say this, it's forced me to change the way I think about money.
I, like many Americans, applied for and was given my first credit card at the ripe age of 18. Fresh into college and "adulthood," I thought having a credit card would earn me respect, spending power, and help me establish credit. This naiveté combined with parents whose spending habits ranged from buying the best quality products (regardless of cost) to living from paycheck to paycheck could only amount to trouble. I didn't recognize my debt problems until years later when I graduated from college with huge credit card balances, high interest rates, and school loans to pay for on a first-year teacher's salary.
After college, my denial about my own mismanage...