Are Americans Too Focused on 'Stuff?'

Pastor Comments on Study That Reveals American Gluttony

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK--(Marketwire - Jun 27, 2011) - Of all the statistics and studies that are hoisted upon the American public to cast a reflection of how they live, the most evil and troubling stat is 15 percent, according to Fred Sellers.

"We waste 15 percent of our money," said Sellers, pastor of the Victory Church of Norman, Oklahoma and author of "The Prophet of Vail Mountain" ( "We are so focused on materialism and buying as much stuff as we can, we actually wind up spending more on things like electronics and toys over the course of our lives than we do on education."

Sellers is referring to a February 2011 study by "24/7 Wall St." that analyzed how Americans spend money. The primary conclusion is that, in spite of the recession and slow recovery, consumers still love spending money on things they don't need -- to the tune of 15 percent. That's the percentage of the American household budget that is spent on unnecessary goods and entertainment.

The top ten ways Americans wasted 15 percent of their household income in 2010 included:

  • Apparel
  • Tobacco
  • Entertainment equipment
  • Alcohol
  • Fees and admissions to attractions
  • Vacation lodging
  • Pets
  • Electronics
  • Gifts
  • Meals Away from Home

"The study also revealed that the 'average' American household, which has an income of $63,000, spends more than $8,000 on goods and services it does not actually need had been put into savings accounts between 1989 and 2009, but the period would not have been nearly as fun."

"So even the people who analyzed the spending and saw how we put ourselves into this financial crunch couldn't help but echo the very sentiment that got us into the crisis in the first place," Sellers said. "I guess the moral of their story is that it's perfectly fine to thrust an entire nation and other parts of the globe into one of the worst financial crises of the modern era, as long as you can say we all had fun doing it."

About Fred Sellers

Fred Sellers founded the Victory Church in Norman, Oklahoma in his living room in the early 1990s. Today, the church now has more than 300 members, who are served by Pastor Sellers and his wife of 26 years, Priscella.

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Ginny Grimsley