BREAK FREE from debt by breaking free from the deep-seated desire for luxuries you cannot afford.
If not used wisely, debt is one of the worst enemies a person faces. It’s especially hard on the unity of families and the integrity of individuals who don’t have the money to pay them.
The saddest part is many debts are created due to lusts and desires for things that we really can’t afford. Such as cars, houses, and name brand clothing; with our main intention of buying those things being to impress other people or with the hopes they’ll make us happy.
Then once the newness wears off and we realize that those things didn’t make us happy, right around the time that sixth or seventh payment is due, we get bogged down with stress and wonder why in the world we bought it in the first place?
Or we may be the type of shopper who gets buyers remorse right away. I have seen people turn this into a never-ending cycle and end up in Bankruptcy several times.
If this is you, don’t worry, I am not hitting you over the head with a book just yet. I didn’t start out having it all together. When I first started keeping house many years ago, my ex insisted on buying a riding lawnmower on credit.
I have NEVER liked debt and knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, but after he literally threw a fit about it, and told me how much extra money he could make with it by using it for a side business, I finally agreed.
The very next day I went shopping.
Well, you don’t think he was getting a riding lawnmower while I did laundry at my mother’s, do you? 🤔
Our A1 credit flew out the window and before I knew what hit us, we went in debt trying to get all of the things we needed for our house, knowing we didn’t need all those payments.
I started out with a washer and dryer and was planning to pay that off before buying something else, until…
…we saw that oh so comfy reclining sofa and love-seat that we just HAD to have. I was willing to say no to it until I saw that he wanted it too, and in my mind we needed furniture.
We had to have it. All of it.
We couldn’t afford to buy a house at the time but at least we had stuff.
Lots and lots of stuff!
Before we knew it we were in debt up to our eyeballs. We could have done so much better financially had we handled our money wisely, been patient and waited until we could afford to pay cash for what we wanted.
I will tell you from experience, stuff doesn’t add value to your life, your character, or your pocket book unless it is a wise investment. You are not your stuff. -Your stuff doesn’t build your character and adds no long-term value to your life.
It isn’t worth going in debt for, and it’s not that you can’t have these things if you will be patient and wait for them to come in the right time and at the right price.
Had I known what I know now I would’ve had no trouble furnishing my entire house with very little money. The key is patience. You wait until you find that perfect piece at just the right price.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that creditors gave us all that credit as a newlywed couple. It’s stupid how much credit you can get without a good credit or income history.
Not planning ahead, being in over your head, and lack of money management skills breaks families apart literally every day.
Debt wasn’t our only problem but when I remarried several years ago, I was determined to do it right with as very little debt as possible, so that money would never come between us.
Debt is the number one cause of divorce in the United States.
Debt CAN be paid by first making a personal resolve to sacrifice other things in order to pay it; like sacrificing eating out, name brand clothing, or brand new cars.
Read about how we paid off over $100,000 of debt here.
Problem & Solution #1: DEBT- The only way to get rid of debt is to PAY it.
Leaving it hanging out there in the balance somewhere will never get rid of it. Sure, eventually it will disappear after seven LONG years of it ruining your credit.
But do you really want that to happen and have to wait that long to restore your good name?
Budgeting isn’t really my niche, so I don’t have a lot of things on this website that are intended for that purpose. These other websites have printable and downloadable budgeting forms that will help.
I will share links to other budgeting websites at the end of this article so that you can check them out as well.
I want to help you BREAK FREE FROM DEBT, and that is my main goal.
FIRST THINGS FIRST- Focus on one debt at a time starting with the smallest debt first. The feeling of relief you get when that smallest one is paid is unbelievable motivation for the next debt in line.
Michael, my current husband, had such a cheap mortgage when we first moved in together, we were able to put all of my income toward paying off debts, while he paid the household bills.
I remember that feeling I got when the smallest one was PAID IN FULL. It was awesome!
No longer did I have to worry about them turning that in on my credit. While I was single, the bills I always paid last were the medical bills.
After having surgery and several medical issues, I had many medical bills hanging over my head. With no child support help I sometimes had to juggle things around to make them work.
With threats of turning it in on my credit, I started sending each medical debtor a very small payment of ten dollars a month, just enough to keep it off of my credit and get them to hold the account.
I sent those small payments to ALL of my creditors every single month.
Key Point- Most medical debtors will not turn what you owe in on your credit as long as you make arrangements to pay a small payment every month. If you are paying a small amount every thirty days with the promise of paying more at a later time, they will usually hold the account.
In the meantime, I sent the largest payment each month to the smallest debt until it was completely paid off. I then took that amount and sent it to the next smallest debt until all the debts were paid.
Problem & Solution #2: NO SAVINGS? – Save a small percentage of your income each month.
Not having savings is the number one cause for devastation when an emergency type situation occurs. Once you have knocked out some debt, then start putting some of that into savings. 2% of your income is a good start (you have to start somewhere).
When you get your debts paid off you can then work toward saving more, but at least this will allow you to have an emergency fund until then.
Ten dollars a week adds up to $520 by the end of the year, and is much better in an emergency fund than $0.
Problem & Solution #3: SPENDING JUST A LITTLE MORE THAN YOU EARN EACH YEAR- Stop buying luxuries you cannot afford.
One of America’s greatest debt issues is that we tend to spend more than we earn.
If we spend more than we earn this year, by the beginning of the next year we are having to use our income tax to try to get rid of some of the excess debt on our credit cards.
In a five or ten year time span, that sometimes even adds up to such a great amount that we have to take the equity from our homes to pay off the debt.
As a former real estate agent by trade, I’ve seen it a lot.
Using all of your home equity to pay your debts isn’t God’s best for your life.
Maybe you could take some money management courses, or start a side business, or maybe even get a second job, but I can tell you from experience you CAN do better than that.
It is a shame that we can’t refrain from spending to such a degree that our homes are in jeopardy of never being worth more than we paid.
Our new cars depreciate the moment we drive them off the lot, and if our furniture is bought on credit, what assets do we have?
Ask yourself, “Do I have any assets that could quickly be turned into cash should the moment call for it? If the answer is no, then maybe that should be your next step.
Problem & Solution #4: NOT A SAVER?- Buy assets.
Having savings is a good thing but if you are one of those people who love to shop and can’t seem to save a dime then maybe you should invest in assets instead.
Assets that can be turned into cash are almost as good as cash.
There are many things that are a good investment that you could turn into cash if ever needed that are short-term, long-term, liquid and equivalent, or even inventory.
One of the reasons I love to buy antiques is because they are an asset. They never lose value unless you don’t maintain their good quality.
There are also consistent ready buyers that are sometimes willing to pay even more than they’re worth just to have the right to ownership.
For example, I bought an old 1890’s Hardman piano that two sweet friends of ours went out of their way to help me get. It is a beautiful old upright grand but being beautiful isn’t the reason I bought it.
I bought it because it is made of Rosewood and the keys are ivory. I bought it because they don’t make affordable pianos like that any more. I bought it because it was an investment.
I also bought it because I was able to purchase it for a hundred bucks!
Pianos like this sell for between $2500 – $4000 in perfect condition. Mine has a few minor marks, but let’s just say I restore it as I do many of my antiques and sell it for what it’s worth.
You do the math:
Purchase price= $100
Sell price = $4000 (in the high-end market)
That’s a 400 % increase!
THAT is an asset.
I tend to sell nearly everything I buy at one point or another but a true antique, made of solid rosewood, with an ebony finish is worth holding on to.
If you have a hard time saving money, find things you would like to keep that will hold their value or preferably increase in value and put your money there.
If you ever need cash in a pinch, you can sell it and get your money back or sell it for more and get your profit out of it.
Great budgeting websites:
Tools, Apps & Printables:
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