Debt causes an awful lot of suffering. It is not a natural thing either, it’s completely man made. Unfortunately it has become so rampant in our world that it is now considered normal to be in debt. Not just in debt either, but deeply in debt for all sorts of things. Mortgages, car payments, credit cards, student loans, along with sleazy pay programs – all gobbling up massive portions of income. The financial experts, often just sales people masquerading as counselors and advisers, talk about getting rid of debt by refinancing this or that. Take out a second mortgage, and use it to pay off all your credit cards they say.
Really? Take a bunch of smaller unsecured debts and turn them all into one giant secured debt? I don’t think so, not unless you want to make your situation worse instead of better. The same people refer to debt as a “financial tool”. It’s not. It’s just debt and all debt is bad debt as far as I’m concerned. You can believe what ever you like, so lets clarify that right here. I’m going to tell you what I think and what I have learned, much of it the hard way, and then you decide whether it works for you or not. Believe what you want and do what you want because it is you that’s going to reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of your own actions.
Money is a tool, but not debt, debt is a liability. It’s something that can ruin your life. It’s also incurred through emotional decision making – not logical decision making. The analytically types, and well meaning at that, will give you all the charts and graphs needed to explain why it makes more sense to carry a mortgage and put your income into this or that investment instead of paying off your mortgage. They tell you to get rid of the credit card with the highest interest rate instead of the one with the smallest balance. Theoretically they do have some points – but the trouble is, real life is not theoretical, it’s just real life. Life with hard cold consequences and it doesn’t give a damn about how logically you worked it all out on paper.
The only thing that matters in real life is what you actually do. The disease of debt is spread by and feeds off of emotions. Emotions affect your mindset and your mindset determines what you do and won’t do. Marketing people know this very well. They use it to influence you to do what they want you to do – buy more stuff. Stuff that you don’t need, can’t afford and often don’t really even want for that matter.
There are proven ways that will help you get yourself out of debt. Before you can use them you first need to decide that you want to get out of debt and to stop following the normal patterns of behavior. More about that later, but for now if you want to get out of debt the first step is very simple. Stop borrowing money right now. Don’t borrow another dollar for anything else.