The blessing in disguise: How debt fares in my life

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.

Debt has played the following constructive roles in my life:

1. My debts gave me the knowledge to overcome challenges

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.

The best part of these retirement options is that I don't have to be aged 65 years or more to enjoy their advantages, and that they can double up like any other successful side gig in terms of additional source of income.

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.

2. My debt helped me tap into my resources

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.

In no time, I figured out I could write and write pretty well! That served as the beginning of another chapter in my life - financial blogging. It provided me with the urge to participate with the members of the personal finance communities and grow my money management skills further.

3. My debts shed a light on virtues

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.

There came a time when I didn’t have the funds to meet my daily needs. I was pushed to the wall which forced me to alter my spending behavior.

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.

4. My debts served as a growth ladder for me

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.

Seeing my wealth grow over time gives me a sense of fulfillment and inspiration to move further with the objective of appreciating the good things in life.

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.

5. My debt revealed my strengths

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.

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