Saturday, November 19, 2005

How Do You Spend Your Money

With Christmas just around the corner, American's are beginning their spending binges on many not so needed gifts. Some of the noticeable charms of the Christmas Season are all of the decorations necessary to make your Christmas complete. What is even more noticeable are the differences in how people around the world spend their money.

I was particularly taken back and reminded about this today in an Excellent article written in the Washington Post about a multi-million dollar Korean entrepreneur who doesn't even spend as much as a $100,000 income earner in the US.

If you ride a motorcyle, you probably know the brand HJC helmets. This company came from behind in the early 1980's through thrifty spending and saving every penny they made. Today, HJC is so big that they have 3 headquarters around the world. What is even more impressive is their success story behind it all.

And believe it or not, this Korean isn't the only one establishing a surplus in savings. The types of spending behaviors between the two company leaders show extreme differences between each countries citizens.
In the United States, imports exceeded exports last year by $617.6 billion, a record gap equal to 5.3 percent of gross domestic product. The U.S. trade deficit has swelled even further in the first nine months of this year compared with the corresponding period in 2004.

South Korea, by contrast, ran a $29.4 billion trade surplus last year, or 4.3 percent of its GDP, and even that paled by comparison with Japan's $132 billion surplus or the $100 billion-plus surplus China is expected to post this year.
Seeing American's spending habits is a bit concerning to many people. There are benefits to each side of the perspective but I'm not so sure how long all of this spending can last. The article is definitely a great read. Maybe you'll find out which side of the spending table you are on too.

I'll leave you with this quote:

"Sooner or later, the rest of the world will decide that the United States is no longer a safe bet for lending more money," said William R. Cline, a scholar at the Institute for International Economics and author of a new book titled "The United States as a Debtor Nation."

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