Last time we learned why credit cards are dumb. Today I want to go further and talk about why debt is dumb. We live in a society that loves debt. We worship at the alter of the great FICO. Debt has been so well advertised and marketed to us that we think we either need to have it to live or at the very least, that it’s a tool. The first is absolutely not true. The second could be true but with a caveat. I will say some people seem to use debt wisely. They get what they want now and are able to pay it off in a short amount of time with no issues. But these are the select few. If debt is a tool, then we should treat it like any other tool. Is it a simple tool like a hammer or maybe something bigger like a jack hammer, a bulldozer, or a recking ball? These are all tools but it takes training, practice, and sometimes even a license to operate them. Shouldn’t we approach debt the same way? The fact that so many people are in debt proves that this is a dangerous tool, if that’s what we’re calling it. Lets just call it what the bible calls it… SLAVERY. Remember, the bible has nothing good to say about debt and nothing good ever came from debt.
With debt, you are trading the immediate for the long term. As far as I can tell, debt is not a sin or a salvation issue. It’s just plain dumb. My wife and I know what dumb is. We’ve had all kinds of debt. Read my previous post titled “My Financial Lesson” for the complete story. If you’re disciplined enough to use debt as a tool, then you are in an elite group. The majority of people get into trouble more times than not.
Debt is a product. We’ve become so addicted and dependent on it that we can’t see any other way. We have to have a mortgage, a car payment, credit cards, personal loans, payday loans, home equity loans, student loans, family loans, gambling loans, and the list goes on and on. I mean come on, you can even finance a pet. 90 days same as cash for your dog, Fido. That’s crazy to me.
Here’s a neat concept. If you don’t have the cash, you can’t afford it. Too many people only ask how much down and how much a month. The better question is simply how much and can I get a discount off of that. Then once you buy something, you’re done. Imagine taking a vacation and not having it follow you home. It’s very freeing and liberating being debt free. Once you are, it’s hard to go back.
In closing, let me say again that debt is not a sin or a salvation issue. It’s slavery. God said we can not serve two masters. Having a MASTERcard is an interesting parallel. Who named it that anyway? Think about it. Are you at the mercy of your debt? Does it control your life? Do you have stress, anxiety, or fear because of it? Is it ruining your marriage? If so, then you need to make a change immediately, if not sooner. Read a previous post called “3 Basic Principles To Get Control Of Your Money” to learn how. You won’t regret it. Here’s a good article from Dave Ramsey about debt. Check it out!
What do you think about this topic of debt? Is it good, bad, or neutral? What has been your experience with it? Please leave a comment and we’ll discuss it.
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7 NIV)