1. We no longer have debtor's prisons in this country; so long as you are honestly trying to pay a bill but don't have the means, you cannot go to jail. No matter what a debt collector threatens you with, no one---not the debt collector, not the police, not the feds---as the legal right to arrest you for unpaid debts.Let me start off by saying I am aware everyone at some point in our lives struggles with money, this is not about going broke so much as it is thinking I'll always be liquid poor. Even then, my definition of "liquid poor" might be skewed, since apparently most Americans can't cover a $500 emergency.
I keep hearing day after day that the US economy is at a standstill despite growing short-term markets, that similar to China we're in a different kind of bubble where the old will not retire and the transferable wealth that might have been obtained through an earlier end to life will go away due to end of life care and people getting older. It pretty much looks like doom and gloom, from where I'm standing.
As a person about to graduate college, although my family supports my undergrad studies (which I am eternally grateful for), I have this nagging feeling that no amount of money will ever be enough to make my life stable in this country. Maybe it's because I haven't graduated yet and have never drawn a salaried job, all my work has been hourly, but my thought process is right now I have to save up all my money (realistically I'm looking at 80% saved per paycheck) for rent when I graduate, or for seed money to spend when abroad.
Is there anything I can do to stop worrying about these things? Not like I shouldn't be concerned about my financial wellbeing; making sure I have enough saved up, that my paycheque covers everything and that I enjoy myself is important, however I feel I put too much importance into it. For instance, in my head I feel like 20k would be an ideal starting point for my savings to finally feel "comfortable", but no matter how much I've worked since 18, had I saved up every penny I'd likely only be shy of 7k at this point.
I feel like growing up during the Great Recession really impacted my view of money. My family nearly lost everything, and not because our house went underwater. I rarely eat out to treat myself, I haven't gone on a vacation in years and feel slightly guilty at the prospect, haven't fixed my computer outside of putting in a donated graphics card. Meanwhile I have friends who despite having less than $400 to their name will gladly drop $100 at a club or bar for one night. I knew a guy who when his parents lent him money, he spent 80% of it in 24 hours.
Is this type of thing something I should even be worried about at my age?
2. Bankruptcy courts exist instead. If you ever got so bad, you could declare bankruptcy. And the Bankruptcy Court protects you afterwards from any creditor harassing you.
3. Creditors harass when someone isn't in bankruptcy, but merely telling them to stop or ignoring them is enough. Even student loan guys.
4. The only people you can't ignore are the IRS and state tax officials. But they offer payment plans.
5. Make sure food, medicine, and a roof over your head are taken care of first, then go to the other debts.
6. Prayer makes you realize how useless all material goods are anyway.