When you are drowning in debt, it doesn’t matter how hard you work. The bills will just keep coming; piling one on top of the other. You’re fighting to stay above water but each time you settle one account, another one comes in and drags you back down under the pile.
You no longer have time for yourself or your family. You are spending almost every waking hour trying to find sources of money to keep pace with all the bills that are being sent to your home and email. It feels like you are no longer working to earn for the family but for the creditors.
The question is “Why?”
Why did you allow yourself to be mired in so much debt?
No one forces you to borrow money. That’s why you found work, right? You want to earn income that would pay for your daily needs and still have savings at the end of the day.
Unfortunately, many people have fallen off the wayside. The availability of credit makes anything and everything easy to acquire.
So why do people get swept up by debt? Here are a few reasons why:
- “Keeping Up With The Joneses”
The next door neighbour bought a brand new Mercedes Benz or became the newest member of the city’s most high-profile sports club. You find yourself pressured to keep up with their material wealth even though you can hardly keep your Toyota at full tank or pay for a membership at the local gym.
You should learn to live within your means. If your neighbour continues to acquire riches and wealth, that’s on him/her. You don’t know what their finances are and neither should you care.
Most of all, learn to appreciate what you have in life. Others are less fortunate than you.
- Lack of Money Management Skills
According to a survey conducted by a U.S. bank, only 41% of Americans know how to manage their money. You should always keep track of where your money is going, not just on where it is coming from.
The first step is to create a budget. Make a summary of your monthly expenses. Rank these items in terms of priority. Then, find out if your present salary or streams of income is enough to cover these expenses. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to save at least 20% of what you earn every month.
- Can’t Say No to the Good Life
Who says you have to take your family out to the newest fine dining restaurant every Sunday night? Is it mandated by law to go pub crawling with your friends every Friday night? Do you absolutely have to buy the latest Air Jordan sneakers that come out in the market?
Instead of having a schedule of blowing out your hard-earned cash, learn to save your money for the future. When the time comes that you will really need money, you may have nothing to put out.
- They View Debt as the Only Answer
When a homeowner has fallen behind on his monthly payments, one of the first options he would consider is to take out another mortgage on the house.
More debt to pay debt.
He is thinking, “I just need more time to get my business running. Soon, I will be able to pay both mortgages.”
Sadly, like most people who take out a second mortgage, he’ll only end up having his home foreclosed.
Debt is never the answer. It feeds your financial problems like kerosene to a raging fireplace.
- They’d Rather Suffer Than Sacrifice
In our example above, the homeowner took out a second mortgage to buy him “more time”. A better option would have been to sell the house and pay cash for a smaller home. At the end of the day, he would have no debt and plenty of savings.
But he would rather suffer in the short term by putting in more hours at work and find sources of money to pay off the extra mortgage. In this situation, there is no fairy tale ending. All you have is a tragedy.
Just like the serpent that told Adam in the Garden of Eden that biting the forbidden fruit will make them like gods, acquiring credit gives people a false sense of power.
Work hard. Learn to save. Always hustle and do your best. Forget about using debt to pay for your needs.