Yes, I put those two words in the same sentence: Financial. Bliss.
The thing is, most Brazilians don't really need a lesson on money management. They should be teaching us. They have very clear ideas on the difference between NEED and WANT. (Something Americans struggle with in excess of ridiculousness.)
Here's a typical Brazilian neighborhood in my area:
These are not favelas. These are not slums. These are semi-nice houses where good people live. (Though plenty of good people live in slums, too.) I have lots of friends who live in houses just like these.
Meet one family. This is a family that My Man baptized years ago (he probably won't admit how many years ago.) We went to visit them.
They have three rooms in the house - not BEDrooms. Rooms. As in, living room, kitchen, bedroom. Oh, and a bathroom, sorry. (And there are five kids - one is not pictured. So all five kids AND the parents share a room.)
They don't have a microwave. Or a phone. Or a washing machine. Or a table. Or chairs. When they served us lunch, we - as the guests - sat on the couch while the family sat on the floor.
And I have been in much more humble houses than this one. Entire residences that, I'm willing to bet, would fit in your living room. Without a couch or a stove or a fridge or even a shower. Houses with one room - a bed, a kitchen sink with a camp stove, and a toilet in the corner. There's one young woman in our ward who has to wash dishes at a neighbor's house - there is no running water in hers.
And ya know what? These people are happy.
They don't have much, but they have each other. And what's more, they don't have the headaches and stress that debt cause. A lot don't even have a bank account.
In Brazil, they buy ONLY what they can afford. Many build their own houses (something I realize is next to impossible in the States, but bear with me.) First they build a little brick room. The whole family crams in there and saves, saves, saves. Soon they have enough to pay for caulking on the walls. Then maybe a nice ceiling. Then they add on another room. Maybe a floor. And so on and so forth - paying for everything with cash.
So it frustrates me when I hear Americans complain about the crisis - yet still have their cable, cell phones, fast food and three cars. You think you CAN'T LIVE without a dishwasher? Guess what. You can.
It just. Isn't. Neccessary.