Debt counseling goes Hollywood..sort of

December 6, 2006 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

There’s something to be said about the debt problem in America when you see television shows popping up with debt counseling as the premise. What exactly is to be said? I don’t know. But, there is huge problem with debt and it’s growing daily.

It’s quite common in America to not only have a mortgage payment, but a car payment (sometimes two), credit card debt and a “student loan that’s been around so long you think it’s a pet.”1 I was surprised, however to see a show on A&E called Big Spender, featuring personal money management expert Larry Winget. He’s basically taking people that have racked up large amounts of debt, obviously living well beyond their means and trying to help them sort their finances and manage the money they actually have. I was surprised because I didn’t see it as entertainment, but it’s got some drama and maybe it’ll help to get people to think more about their situation. But, you know it’s bad when Style Network gets involved. They now have a show called Maxed Out that is basically a copy of the A&E show, except the financial expert is a woman, Ayse Hogan. Seriously though, Style Network?!

Although I understand that debt is a growing problem in America and that these shows are simply trying to tap into this particular group, I’m not sure the techniques they use are effective. I mean really, would you like to have some guy or gal create your budget, wag their finger at you, then expect you to change seemingly overnight? Heck no! These people know they need help, but they need someone to teach them how to do things on their own. Teach people to fish and they will fish. Give them fish and they expect you to give it to them. Of course that wouldn’t make for much of a show would it, especially for a 30-mintue slot, less if you include commercials.

I think it’s funny that people think Dave Ramsey is over the top. To me, Winget and Hogan take the cake. At least Ramsey teaches people how to do things. Sure, you might not agree with some of his principles and techniques, but they sure have helped a large number of folks. And that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Keep an eye out. There might be a new show out there waiting in the wings. I hope it’s The Dave Ramsey Project. Only time will tell.

1Dave Ramsey–Financial Peace University, The Total Money Makeover, http://www.daveramsey.com

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Entry filed under: Soap Box.

Support groups and accountability Twentysomething and debt

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