Madison (WKOW) -- The financial crisis is making many of us re-think what we do with our money.
Here's some thoughts on how this difficult situation can make us stronger, in this It's Your Money report.
With all of our relative wealth and prosperity compared to other nations, many mericans have become accustomed to immediate gratification.
Debra Neubauer of the Financial Resource Center said, "we're a society of want it, want to have it, now. Instead of saving for it later. We are not a saving society."
And recent savings rates support that observation.
Americans had negative savings rates in 2005 and 2006; the first time since the Great Depression that individuals spent more money than they had.
Now, as the US economy is shaken to its core by the mortgage collapse and subsequent financial crisis, many people are paying the price.
Neubauer added, "if you look at the whole situation we're in. And we're going to be in situations like this again. As an opportunity to have a positive attitude and find solutions, as opposed to complaining about the situation and not making any changes.
Debra Neubauer is administrator of Dane County's Financial Education Center.
She also counsels people with their money problems and she says simply having more money doesn't solve those problems.
She said, "people say, my problems would all be solved if i just had more money. 1940 and really, in essence, that's not the case. In some extreme cases it may be, but we, as a society, tend to spend how much we make, whether it's $20k or $100k."
Neubauer tries to help people with the often-difficult task of changing the way they think about and act with their money and look at it as an opportunity to get what they want out of life.
That's spending money on the things that are important to you and getting rid of everything else.