I’ve never really gotten into debt,” he says. “I’ve always kind of lived within my means, and I’ve found there’s a lot less stress with that.

Debt-Induced Stress Is Still On The Rise: AP Poll

People on average carry around $44,000 in debt – mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and other consumer debt. That’s a far bigger load than in the early 1980s, when unemployment topped 10 percent. In 1982, per capita debt totaled about $14,000 in today’s dollars.

While the banks/credit card companies have successfully grown their business, they’ve also successfully sold us more stress and unhappiness.

They don’t really care about our well-being. They care more about extracting revenue from us.

But we also need to stop playing sucker to the marketing machine’s illusion that having more stuff will bring you happiness. Purchasing “stuff” gives people the same feeling as a shot of morphine. Although it feels good for a few days, the rush quickly subsides and we’re forced to either buy more stuff or rethink our own happiness. I’ve been reading two books lately about the science of happiness. I highly recommend them…