Easy credit makes it easier to spend than to save, more pleasant to shop than to plan. We throw money around. We piss it away. We treat ourselves to new shoes or a smart phone when we’re feeling blue. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that since 1990, median household income has risen 11 percent, adjusted for inflation; median household debt, on the other hand, has risen 80 percent. Consuming is all-consuming, a full-time job unto itself. Who has time to gather expenses onto a budget worksheet, even if the budget is designed to restrain us?
— Lee Eisenberg, The Number