I'm not going to explain this entire article, mainly because it's so good that I want everyone to read it, but I do want to make one comment.
People in general buy things they can't afford. They're influenced by the glittering consumerism they see everywhere; on TV, in the fancy neighborhood, around their peers. Most people want that huge house on the hill whether they can actually pay for it or not. They might assume that they'll get that huge raise that's rumored, or that it'll all work out. But, in actuality, it doesn't. A lot of people end up having to sell the house and their new car, declare bankruptcy, or find a new way to pay for their things.
The simplest solution is the hardest for most people: voluntary minimalism. You don't need all that junk to make you happy. And you don't have to keep up with your neighbors. If you want a house, buy one that you can afford. You'll probably be happier in a house you can actually continue to live in rather than in one you have to leave because you can no longer afford it.
Anyway, here's the article: The Empire of Dept