Have You Ever Been Debt Free?
Our Culture Has Been Brainwashed to Think Debt is Ok.
Being in debt is normal. And a debt free person is an anomaly.
There. I said it. And you hear. . . err . . . or read it. You’re in debt, and I’m in debt. It’s the definition of normal. Some of us have more or less debt than others, but pretty much all of us have it.
And you know what? Being in debt sucks. Normal sucks. I’m tired of being normal. I’m tired of giving my money month in and month out to the bank.
I know, I know. I bought that thing. For us, it’s a house, and we have a death pledge (mortgage) to fulfill. For you it may be something else. And yes, we do need to pay back the money we borrowed. But the sucky part is the interest and fees, and the cash flow it robs from us every month.
The Last Time I had No Debt.
I was thinking back to the last time I had no debt. I had to go back a while. All the way back to when I first started college. Seems like ages ago now.
Since then, I’ve had student loans, car payments, and two different mortgages. And currently, my wife and I have just the one mortgage. Which is great, as all our “consumer” debt is gone. But we are still in debt.
We’ve never been debt free as a married couple, or even as a couple, . . . period. Debt has always been there as a part of our lives. I would venture to say that if you thought back, you could say the same thing. It’s been years, nay decades, since you had no debt.
Debt is such a part of our lives that extricating ourselves from it’s clutches can be difficult. And it’s not something that happens quickly or with little effort. Which means getting out of debt is something that you have to want to do.
It won’t happen by itself. Rest assured that you won’t wake up one day many years from now, and realize that you’re debt free. You have to purposefully plan and then act on your plan to become free of the burden of debt.
Do You Want to Be Debt Free?
I know there are those who try to use debt as a tool to get ahead. To those people I say, don’t play with fire. Keep it simple, and don’t overthink it.
And I realize that not everyone wants to be debt free. I’m not sure I understand it, but if that’s you, it’s ok. You can live with your debt, and I won’t be mad at you or upset with you. Just don’t complain about not being able to get ahead while you do nothing about your growing pile of debt.
And buried in debt, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our banks that they may take our lives but they can never take . . . Our Debt FREEDOM!!**paraphrased** Mel Gibson in “Braveheart”
You have that chance today. It comes down to how badly you want it. What are you willing to do to completely destroy your debt?
Would you give up eating out until your consumer debt is gone? Would you sell your $35k car and drive around a $500 beater car until your debt is eliminated? Are you willing to get a second job at nights to make extra money?
You may not have to do any of those things. It all comes down to your income and the debt you have. For instance if you make $90k or more and you have $20k of credit card debt and car loans, it shouldn’t be too difficult to pay your debt off and be done. You could probably do that in a year or so.
But on the other hand, if you only make $30k and you also have $20k worth of debt, it’s going to be a lot harder. So it comes down to how badly do you want it?
Paying Off Debt, and Staying Debt Free Requires Behavioral Change.
If you really want to be free of your debt, then you can’t keep living and doing what you’re currently doing.
That would be the definition of insanity; doing the same thing over and over again while hoping for different results.
To get out of debt, you’ll have to change . . . something . . . and it’s not your shirt. I wrote an article a few weeks ago detailing behavior change and the impact it can have on your financial life. This cannot be understated. You must correct your behavior before you can ever expect to have financial success.
I have a plan for becoming debt free. And my wife and I are working our plan to pay off our mortgage.
There has been a change in my thinking regarding debt, and it has made a positive change for my wife and I’s financial future. Debt is not ok for us. Normal sucks, and we don’t have to live in normal-land anymore.
What about you? Do you have a plan to change your behavior and throw off the shackles of debt for good?
Let me know how I can help in the comments below. And thanks as always for reading and sharing.