“Hey, There’s a Bubble…”
I recently watched a “Day in the Life of a Project Manager” video on TikTok. Her day was basically 20% meetings, 60% eating, and 20% walking around.
I understand that not every workday is the same. It wouldn’t be entertaining to film yourself sitting down and looking at spreadsheets for 2 hours. However, hundreds of similar videos show white-collar workers flexing their perks at work without including any of their responsibilities.
This phenomenon itself isn’t cause for alarm. But coupled with unaffordable housing, skyrocketing consumer debt, and an explosion of tech layoffs, it feels like something is about to burst.
When times are good and the money flows, people spend like there’s no tomorrow. It’s now fairly common to see $900 car payments on used vehicles. To Dave Ramsey’s horror, consumer credit card debt jumped 15% from the year before.
Even people with the financial responsibility to live within their means find themselves spending more, with egg prices doubling this past year and overall inflation topping out at 6.5% in 2022.
There is definite cause for alarm because everything is working against the average American’s favor. People are overextended with debt while possessing historically low savings, and layoffs are spreading to multiple sectors.
Listed below are a handful of red flags that are becoming harder and harder to ignore.
Buy Now, Pay Later
Want to finance a pizza? Almost 1 in 5 Americans have used a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Service over the past 12 months. As if things weren’t bad enough, BNPL could be hiding additional debt.
BNPL offers short-term loans for essential and luxury items, from sneakers to groceries. They usually allow customers to pay in 4 installments and only charge fees when payments are missed.
Economists are worried that these services are hiding a significant portion of the growing consumer debt bubble that towers over the nation.