Today, I mark 20 years since I learned about debt and its impact on my ability to achieve financial freedom. It was 20 years ago that I learned that if I had debt, it would enslave me to the lender. I learned that the interest I paid on debt would help the bank build a nice new building downtown. I learned that debt would lead to added stress in my life. Debt would cause tremendous strain on my marriage. It would also cause me to have my reputation stained when I lost my job and could no longer pay my debts. Debt would make me lose the ability to give to worthy causes or help the poor. Debt would limit my ability to assist my children through college. Debt would make me lose sleep at nights. Debt would force me to work extra hours and additional jobs just to keep current on payments. As a result of working the extra hours and additional jobs, debt would wrench the additional income from my family’s hands. I also learned that unexpected expenses would arrive and that if I had not saved money, debt would be available to handle the emergency. Debt would cost me the ability to do exactly what I am made to do since it would not produce a large enough income to service the debt. It was 20 years ago that I learned that debt is dumb. It was at that time that I learned that I needed a plan to become and stay debt-free.
Today, I am broke. I still have debt. Even after knowing the truths about debt FOR TWENTY YEARS!!! Even after seeing its awful consequences on friends and families. Even after knowing that I really should do something about this debt problem. If only I had taken the time to plan. If only I had gotten on the same page with my wife and budgeted. If only we would have told ourselves “NO!” to the gadgets that we paid top dollar for, but sold in a garage sale for $4 total last weekend.
Signed – The Average American