When you talk about overdraft fees, the topic of personal responsibility usually pops up. For some people,Â it’s really pretty simple: keep track of your money better and you won’t overdraft your account. But in reality, many people (those who live paycheck to paycheck for example) know it’s not that simple. Circumstances (bills due, medical needs, an unexpected car repair) can cause them play chicken with their bank accounts â€“ pay these now and just hope the charge won’t hit until after their paycheck goes in. A precarious way to live? Absolutely.
Perhaps the biggest news these days is health care reform. And guess what? The topic of personal responsibility comes into play here, too.Â In an article in Newsweek magazine, the idea of personal responsibility extends to how people do or do not take care of themselves.Â About 66% of American adults are overweight and they account for about $167 billion a year in health care costs. Add smoking and high blood pressure to the list and you have the top three causes of premature death in the U.S. Some people believe these problems are self-inflicted â€“ so shouldn’t these people pay more for health care coverage? Should taxpayers be expected to chip in for the high cost of health care for the obese? For those with diabetes who choose not to take their medicine? For smokers?
This is clearly a very slippery slope â€“ where, exactly, does the finger pointing end?Â Personal responsibility for one person is an economic reality for another.
Education certainly has to be a part of the answer to both these issues.Â People armed with the right information and a set of tools to help themselves, financially and health wise, would certainly be a very good start. How is your credit union teaching people how to turn things around?
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