A lot of people follow this algorithm:
– Borrow money from (banks, loan sharks, friends, family), saying (truthfully) that you are broke.
– Immediately spend any money you get on (food, alcohol, furniture, bills, cars, travel, …).
– When asked for the money back, say (truthfully) that you can’t pay, as you are broke.
From one perspective, this algorithm makes a lot of sense – it lets you have a higher standard of living for a given income. However, it also prevents you from ever becoming ‘rich’, in the not-worrying-about-money sense. Any money you do get is immediately spent, and since you are always in debt (often with fees and interest), you always have money problems hanging over your head.
“… as many as 70 percent of Americans who experience a sudden windfall will lose that money within a few years.”
In Australia there’s a great guy known as the Barefoot Investor who talks about this stuff and has an interesting basic strategy (there’s an article here that kind of sums it up: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/barefoot-investor/babies-or-bricks-financially-stable-couples-can-have-both-despite-a-survey-saying-otherwise/story-e6frfim6-1226462796474#). I think your article is very true – I’ve heard the 70% thing said before.