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Visualizing Our National Debt

National DebtBoth of these videos are a few years old, so unfortunately the national debt is even greater now than when the videos were made in 2009 and 2012. But the impact is the same.

My favorite part is in the first video when you can actually see understanding in the student’s faces. For those of us who are visual learners, this type of teaching is so much more effective. And when you see the demonstration in the second video, the visualization is even more striking.



Financial Literacy

On this site and others, we often talk about the lack of financial education going on in our schools. Most of us don’t learn much about personal finance when we’re young. We either learn from our parents or learn on our own. And often when we learn on our own is when we find ourselves buried in credit card or student loan debt and are looking for a way to escape.

What I find interesting is that during this rather unique presidential election, there has been almost no discussion of the national debt which now exceeds $19 trillion. In a prior article, I wrote about how it’s not just the national debt but also many other forms of debt that is crushing our country.

If you have any form of debt other than a mortgage, I recommend paying it off as quickly as possible. There is a tax benefit to mortgage debt, but even then you need to be especially careful not to allow yourself to become house poor.

It appears that this presidential election will be more about whether Ms. Universe was fat and what someone said or did in their past rather than on what they will do to solve the issues that actually matter.

But whoever does become the next US President will inherit some challenging problems including what to do with the rapidly increasing national debt.


Readers, how did you learn personal finance? Did your parents teach you? Did you learn in school? Or, did you learn on your own?



Permanent link to this article: http://financialslacker.com/visualizing-national-debt/


  1. Route To Retire

    Good videos and it just makes me nauseous. And it’s probably the same for most of us in the personal finance realm who are dead-set against debt to being with.

    We’re on the same page when talking about the problem of lack of financial education in the schools. It’s a tough lesson that many of us (including myself) had to learn the hard way. When I was stupid(er) back in college, that lack of financial understanding put me around $27k in credit card debt. It was a waste then and then caused me to waste years paying it off when I could have been saving and letting compounding work its magic.

    Now that I’m getting closer to FI, I try to spread the knowledge (as you do) to try to make sure others don’t go down that same path.

    — Jim

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    1. Financial Slacker

      That’s a pretty hefty credit card debt to dig out from.

      For me, it’s disconcerting to think about all the money I have foolishly spent over the years. All you can do is learn from your prior ways and hopefully make better decisions going forward.

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