October 7, 2014

The Poker Debt: A Personal Journey

Someone said, “People showed strongly negative feelings toward the word ‘debt.’ Very few admitted to debt problems even if they had tons of it.”

David must pay off a poker debt

“Debt?”

“Some people got angry when we even mentioned it.”

Heads nodded because this reminded everybody of Terry, a participant in the research. “Terry!” someone exclaimed. Terry had not only swung from anger to despair when compelled to illustrate his financial situation in a graph, he also carried a smallish torch for the researcher. When she had asked him what kind of incentives toward saving money would interest him, Terry had said, “I don’t know — hugs?”

“They see debt as part of life, normal life,” I said in the knowing voice that I trot out when I begin to fear that my value is dropping.

Someone said, “So how do we help people get a handle on their debt and encourage spending without the bank looking like it’s encouraging it?”

Someone said, “Hmmmmm, it’s tricky.”

Someone said, “It’s the nut to crack.”

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