I see credit and its resultant debt as a disease much like a drug addiction. It isn’t something to be trifled with or controlled, it is something to be eliminated and avoided. It is a curable and an avoidable disease.
Other Views are Common.
Of course you have the typical view that credit is good and that there are acceptable – even good – debts, such as mortgages and school loans. Car loans are also considered totally normal. To those who believe in this perspective credit is seen by them as a tool. The FICO score is important as is the resultant ability to get ever more credit to buy ever more stuff with money that hasn’t been earned or otherwise acquired yet.
Those who believe in this way of life seek to manage credit and debt vs my philosophy which is total debt avoidance and complete debt elimination.
Even amongst so called experts opinions vary on how to manage and control credit use. Some say pay off the credit cards with the highest interest first – others say get a consolidation loan and roll it all together so there is just one big payment instead of several smaller ones.
All debt is a disease, like a drug addiction, and it is a self-inflicted disease. It can and should be totally eliminated. Just like drug addicts have drug dealers so does consumer debt of all kinds have its own dealers. Just like friends who introduce a future addict to a particular drug like heroin or cocaine, so are there friends and family, teachers and peers who introduce others to credit and debt. This is societal conditioning.
There was a time I drank the cool aid too and I believed the rhetoric and went down into the rabbit hole of debt. I was so deep down the hole for a time I couldn’t even see the light at the hole entrance anymore. I saw nothing but despair and felt nothing but pain and anger – until I saw a faint glimmer of light shining not from above, but from below and off to the side. I didn’t want to go further down into the hole – I wanted to go up and out!
As I pondered what to do, and tried to climb back up too, I fell over and over again. I watched as others tried desperately to get back up to the entrance to escape from the rabbit hole, but they all fell by the dozens back down into the hole. Again and again they tried – until one by one they became exhausted and gave up. They each sank back down into the dark damp rabbit hole exhausted and defeated. But every once in a while though one would make it out – and dance and scream and shout with joy in the sunlight. Every time one got out it gave everyone else just enough hope to get back up and try again – for a while at least.
I began to see that fait little glimmer of light far below as possibly my way out, but it wasn’t the way everyone else was trying to go. The hardest part was to go in the opposite direction of everyone else. The beginning of the path was the hardest because I first had to go in the wrong direction – I had to climb down even further into the cold darkness and dampness and further away from everyone else. I headed into areas not traveled before – or so I thought. But as I went along toward that faint light, it began to get brighter. The air became less damp and eventually fresh warm and sweet. The light got even brighter the further I went. Then I could see the path better and noticed a few foot prints heading the same way I was going! Not many but a few, as I continued on. I came around a corner and there it was – the way out! Beautiful and bright overlooking a heavenly valley full of abundance, with plenty of water, fruit trees and all that I could want at the moment.
I chose to follow a different path while most others continued to try desperately to climb back out the same way they fell in. As they tried in vain the few that noticed I was taking a different path tried to stop me, they were sure I was heading to my final doom and they tried hard to convince me to stay with them and just keep trying to get out like they were. I chose to follow a different path of my own choosing instead. A few of the others did eventually make it out though most never did, – and never will. They will sadly remain in that rabbit hole until their end of days.
If you find that you have fallen into the rabbit hole of debt, or even jumped in head first – regardless of how you got there you must decide what to do about it. There may be other choices I haven’t seen, even other exits – but from what I could see you have three known choices;
- Try to climb back out the same way you got in
- Stay in the Rabbit hole and just give up
- Follow the same path I found – though it will get darker and colder before it gets bright and warm
You can always search for another way, and if you do – good luck. It may or may not exist and if it does it may or may not work for you.
Choice one really means to establish and follow a budget and try to climb up a little at a time until you eventually may make it out. Theoretically it’s simple to do. But that’s the problem with theory – often it just doesn’t take every real detail into consideration and so it doesn’t always work out as planned. Life happens. Cars break down, family gets sick requiring travel, holidays come up and people expect presents. Choice 2 is just continuing to be normal and using credit and having debt just like everyone else.
Choosing to work towards becoming debt free and living a debt free life wont be easy. Constant peer pressure and a never ending stream of ads offering easy credit and easy pay options are always temptations. People trying hard get tired and sometimes they just can’t hang on any longer – so they slip. They use the credit card again, or buy the new car – or spend the savings on presents. It’s human. It happens. It is NORMAL.
I believe everyone has the right to make up their own minds about how to manage their own personal finances and what to do about credit and debt.
It is not my intention try and tell anyone they have to live a debt free life. Its each person’s own choice – they can follow the cycle as disseminated through societal conditioning, or in other words – just the normal credit and debt way of living, or they can choose to become debt free.
My desire is to let those interested know that there is a choice, and then to help those who decide to make the choice to become debt free reach that goal.
If you are interested in more information about extreme debt elimination you can get my eBook on amazon.