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Living Debt Free

April 2014
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This is post is going to be a little bit out of the ordinary for me. I’ve been seeing a commercial pop up for some “online bank” that promises loans to people “when normal banks won’t give them money” or something to that effect – and it’s got me so pissed I can hardly contain myself. That online “bank” is selling misery to the dumbest and most desperate and it makes me sick.

Normal people don’t take loans for everyday life.  Those who live strictly enough are actually accosted every time they walk into a bank to please, take some – and politely say thank you as we walk out of the bank without that loan after making our deposits.

Almost two decades ago now, my wife and I had several maxed out credit cards, car loans and a mortgage.  Then we moved out into the country from the city and added a bigger mortgage and a second mortgage so we could afford the down payment (they don’t allow this anymore).  We were in debt up to our ears – and paying interest on all of it.  To put it simply, my wife and I made a trade.  We chose to pay 1-1/4 to 2 times what something cost, so we could have it right now.  We started talking about one of the rent to own places for a new TV – and that’s when we realized we were in a lot of trouble.

We made a decision to stop the madness rather than continue to trade away our future happiness on interest.  We sacrificed:  No new toys – we barely went out to dinner, no toys, no extravagant foods – folks we were only slightly better than beans an weenies for two years – and we paid that debt off to a point where we have only our mortgages left(and we’re almost set to pay the second one-off, we just have to get with the bank and write the check).

I won’t go into a big “hey, look how cool we are because we can afford stuff now” deal because the way my wife and I choose to live isn’t exactly what you call “fun”.  We both have paid off older vehicles (that run fine but are showing their years now) and we don’t have a big, fancy house.  In other words, we don’t keep up with the Jones’s (unless you count the bikes – then we kick the Jones’s butts).  If we don’t keep our eyes on the prize it’s easy to lose sight of the reason we choose this, call it humble, existence.  The prize is this:  While we don’t measure up with others who make about the same amount as we do on the outside, when we want to have our home resided (which should start in the next week or so), all we have to do is write the check.  Or better, say we have a problem – we have a plumbing problem or something…  We can simply get it fixed.

To make a long story short, we don’t need a loan and while others scramble around to find the cash for the necessities, we can sit back knowing we’ll be okay.

I suppose my main point is this:  If you need that high-interest loan because a “normal bank won’t give you money”, it might be time to consider that you might have a bigger problem – and ask yourself this:  Are you really willing to pay double for what it is you want, today?

We did, and came to the right conclusion:  That’s nuts!

 

 


8 Comments

  1. theneedwant says:

    Any tips on going debt-free? Do you use a budget?

    • bgddyjim says:

      LOL! Well, that depends on whether you’re talking to my wife or me… We absolutely did to get out of debt. Now that we’re out, we use several bank accounts to distribute our money. We use one for spending money, one for taxes and one for bills. While this is not how it’s typically done, it is a budget of sorts. Close enough at least.

  2. BikeWar says:

    Thanks for sharing that. One of my favourite verses is Philippians 4:11. 🙂

  3. So many people get caught up in the ” buying things you cannot afford to impress people you do not know”. Other than a mortgage, we are debt free and we hope to have the mortgage paid off in 7 years. We use a budget or a gentler term, spending plan to keep thinks in check. We do not watch every cent but we always try to justify the needs from the wants. We also do a lot of research and look for the best price on big ticket items. There are so many online coupons, places with great deals and free shipping. If people take the time, they can save so much with just a few clicks of the mouse.

  4. Thanks for sharing your insight. Living debt free seems to enable a person to have a more secure financial future.

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