The forces that drive us to spend money are significant and pervasive. By the time children are three years old they have preferred brands and they attempt to influence their parents' spending. Therefore, simply teaching people how to balance their checking accounts and calculate their interest payments does not help them break the cycle of spending that creates debilitating debt.
Granted there are people who find themselves in crippling debt due to circumstances far beyond their control. Unemployment, illness, divorce, student loans or old age can cause people to use credit cards and other borrowing strategies to stay afloat and keep their heads above water. These are all challenges that require special solutions that are tailored to the individual situation.
But most of us spend our way into debt buying this that we do not need and cannot afford. That was exactly my problem. And until I got my spending under control, I could not get my personal debt, delinquencies and deficits under control.