What are the benefits of paying off debt?
Most people are OK with having a car loan to have a nice, reliable car. And even I took on a mortgage to escape a negligent/abusive landlord.
How To See Debt
Debt is a black hole for money. Seriously.
First, it’s a way for a company to drain every cent they can from you if the debt accrues interest. Second, you are paying much more for something than it’s worth.
And there are several ways they can trick you. For example, some places will charge interest AND a finance fee, money they charge for extending the credit line.
Then you need to think about how often your interest is compounded. Some may compound interest monthly. But, sometimes, it is compounded DAILY. This means that you owe more money EVERY DAY.
Second, it’s making you an indentured servant. Companies are taking advantage of your desire to have it right now to ultimately control you. If you have much debt, you are locked into your job. Changing jobs or losing your job ultimately means losing your entire way of life.
Debt racks up so fast, and people often end up in so much debt that even the wealthy live paycheck to paycheck!
We don’t realize how quickly small expenditures add up to significant amounts.
When deciding to take on each debt, we think about it like this: “$250 a month? That’s so cheap! I can afford that!” =
But if you end up having a boat, 2 cars, a house payment, a computer, etc., all for $250 each, and your actually paying out $1000 each month for debt.
The Benefits of Paying Down Debt: Your Sell Your Life for Money
You can take this figuratively. Hours and effort being your life.
Or literally, work and stress take a physical toll on your body, which can easily rob you of years.
Figuratively: Employment is trading your time and effort for money.
When you work, you are literally trading your life for money. You can’t do anything else with that time, and if you are underperforming, you get fired.
If you get federal minimum wage, $7.25 an hour, it takes you ½ an hour to buy one gallon of milk at $2.99 (my local price).
Do you want to trade 30 minutes for a gallon of milk?
Doesn’t sound like a fair trade to me! I’d much rather drive an older car, save up to pay for a new phone or computer when I need them than toil away for someone else for a starvation wage.
Literally: Financial Stress and the Body
Financial stress has an incredible impact on the body. It can cause depression, anxiety and exacerbate those conditions, increasing the risk of substance abuse.
My priorities are my kids. Spending time with them and teaching them character. And debt gets in the way.
As our family has grown, we realize that we are much happier with fewer things than less time.
Our kids don’t care how many gigs their tablets have (yet), and they are satisfied with the cheapest Amazon Kindle that I scored for $50. And they all share one, too.
Why? Because they would rather have me at home with them watching baby robins hatch or playing in the mud.
Things haven’t made us happier as a family. Time together has.
Not only do I get to spend my time where I want to be, but I get the opportunity to teach my kids by example essential character traits.
It lets me model the fact that I work hard to pay for our standard of living.
My kids see me making choices about which things are wants and which things are needs.
Debt is not a speed bump on the road to a happy life; it is a brick wall. It holds you back. If you want money for what matters, you can’t waste it on debt.