Monday, November 16, 2015
Deciding to be debt free
We have decided that we want to be free. Totally and completely debt free. I've always thought that this was a major goal in life, but I never really believed it was possible - until now. In the past year I have faced my huge amount of debt and started to feel shame because of it. I have started to feel the way it holds me down. I shocked a friend and a parent when I told them the amount. I shocked myself to hear it out loud. Then I started thinking about how much I hate all the stuff that I purchased with borrowed money. I started to hate the decisions I made or failed to make that lead to my debt. I think I'm passed being disgusted and anxious and overwhelmed and now I feel like fighting for our freedom. I am so grateful for Dave Ramsey and his message of hope. I'm also grateful for the 7 Baby Steps. This is the beginning of our journey and I hope that writing about it will help me sort out some of my issues with anger and depression related to the debt and maybe someone that feels alone will discover that they aren't. Just to give you an idea of the state of Americans. The average household income is around $53000 per household and the average amount of debt is between $7300 - $16500 (depending on whose numbers you use). If you believe the high number, that is around 30% of the averag household income. This is just credit card debt. We have almost no credit card debt, so I think that the reality of credit card debt is probably a whole lot more for middle class households. Due to my early mistakes with credit I've never been given more than a couple of thousand dollars at a time. (Don't worry, I made sure to use all of it.)
I don't have any stones to throw, so I'm not. There are plenty of us in the same shaky boat. One day I'll get the courage to put the amount of debt we have down. I'm not there yet. I guess I can be glad that we're working on this now and not five years from now. I definitely want to be completely debt free and building wealth by the time my daughter is 10 years old, hopefully before. It's a journey. I hope I can help others along the way.
My final thought for this post is about income inequality. I could be wrong, but when I take a step back and think about it I realize that one reason the rich are getting richer is because of all the finance and interest payments the rest of us have been making. The government isn't going to fix income inequality. We the people of this country are the only ones that can slow down income inequality. By saving more than spending, living within our means, making ethical decisions when we buy things, and reducing our borrowing.