As of Oct. 8, 2019, the U.S. Treasury reported that the total outstanding U.S. national debt stood at more than $22.8 trillion — up from “only” $20.4 billion a year earlier. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the debt will jump to $28.5 trillion by the end of 2029.
While these are all certainly staggering numbers by any measure, what do they really mean? How is the typical American worker — who earns an annual mean wage of $51,960, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — supposed to relate to a current national debt figure in the double-digit trillions of dollars?
The truth is that while the national debt is to some degree an unfathomable number, the ramifications of the debt have real-world consequences, even for average Americans.
While some of the scenarios about how the national debt can affect your wallet on a daily basis might be speculative, anything is possible if borrowing continues to accelerate in the future, so you’ll want to prepare your finances now for the unknown.