Do you ever wonder if refined, British people can, in actuality, really be the product of massive amounts of personal debt? But of course.

On November 20, RT News reported that the “total personal debt in the U.K. has reached record highs – 1.4 trillion pounds, a new report has shown.” The article goes on to say that this is roughly the equivalent of 94% of the United Kingdom’s economic output. The main culprit is that a majority of citizens have little to no savings, a trend that most of our clients can relate to.

When you focus all your energies on debt repayment, this leaves little wiggle room to actually save money. It’s as if your paycheck comes, and just as quickly as that direct deposit hits, you watch your hard earned money float away to creditors and bills.

After spending a month on vacation with my mom in Scotland this past September and getting back in touch with our ancestral roots (my tolerance for whiskey and predilection towards dark liquor definitely comes from the Scottish side) this news about debt in the U.K. came as a shock to me because most of its citizens lived seemingly modestly. For instance, all of the houses that we came across were small in comparison to the McMansions of the States. In fact, cars were smaller, meals were smaller, and roads were smaller. So how did all this overspending occur?

Smaller does not necessarily translate into less spending. Money is still relative to a town, state or country’s economic situation; the cost of living still rises, housing markets and unemployment are perpetually in flux, and people will always borrow. Just because a car in England looks like a big toe compared to the SUV-clogged highways in the U.S., that doesn’t mean it’s going to be any cheaper.   Similarly, all British people are not refined: on my trip, I also saw a television show called “Sex, Lies and Rinsing Guys.” Looks, and accents, can be quite deceiving.

One area where the U.K. and the United States are matched is having a complex financial system, both a blessing (more opportunities to borrow money) and a curse (more opportunities to rack up personal debt). While Freedom Debt Relief currently does not operate abroad, if you are having trouble maintaining a refined wallet, give us a call.