Debt has earned a bad name since time immemorial. And it’s quite obvious for people to consider it as an omen.
But is it so?
The reason is your financial obligations can limit your reach towards higher echelons of life. It can act as an opposing force and put you off track from hitting your retirement target. However, for many consumers, debt is a way of life.
Still, not many would hold debt in such a high esteem as me. But, I truly am.
As soon as I decided to get out of debt and reclaim my lost financial independence, I started reading about personal finance articles rather voraciously. I was surprised to find out about retirement plans like 401(k) or IRA (Individual Retirement Account). Initially, it was like a burden for me to contribute towards them but now am very excited to see them grow every month.
Moreover, my new-found personal finance knowledge made me realize that I can hang up my boots much ahead of the actual retirement age. Even the lifestyle I want to lead is well within my reach provided I’m willing to abide by the cardinal rules of smart financial planning and execution.
Overwhelming debt made it tough for me to think straight and so, I couldn't solve my debt problems through legal ways. That said I started knocking at the doors of my relatives, friends, and acquaintances for help and guidance. It was during these darkest moments of my life that I decided to jump careers, develop fresh skills, and garnered the confidence to discuss monetary problems with the credit counselors or debt relief service providers.
I lacked the values that are necessary to lead a financially stable life. Due to lack of proper knowledge of money management, I failed to grow as a virtuous person financially. Rather, I was plagued with the symptoms of ‘keeping-up-with-the-joneses’. This attitude towards life and money lead me to a wretched condition.
This self-realization brought about the much-needed change in me and sowed the seeds of good financial fortune. I started to learn the value of money and all the other important things of life. Since then I’ve stopped appeasing people and avoid playing the rich-spoilt-brat card. Now, I spend my dollars where necessary. Value-based expenses are dearer to me than all the other expenses.
Earlier I used to spend my dollars recklessly on absurd things. But now I’ve become a cautious consumer who follows a budget and saves money wherever possible, such as grocery shopping, insurance policies, vacations, food, and so on. I have a goal to move forward.
As far as learning lessons about money management is concerned, I must say that my loans have taught me to save money. I started working out a plan to pay off my student loan debt along with paying back my credit cards, payday loans, mortgages, etc.
Debt’s powerful punch in terms of loss of precious dollars as interests helped me to unravel my ability to cut corners and save as much as possible. Moreover, I learned to be more patient than before and gradually, my debts became a boon than a bane.
As I keep making my monthly debt payments, I find it tough to acknowledge its hidden benefits. But I always remind myself that “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave” (Proverbs 22:7). And this gives me the impetus to stick to my debt relief plan.