Let’s start with the basics.
Debt is when you owe someone for money you have borrowed. Debt is really digging yourself a hole. The more debt you have, the bigger your hole. Instead of paying yourself first and saving for your own goals, you have to pay back the debt you owe. If the goal is to be financially free, independent, and on top of your own personal money mountain, you have to climb yourself out of the debt hole first.
Sometimes if you’re in the debt hole for too long, it costs so much in interest that it’s impossible to climb your way out.
You get stuck in there. Your credit card bills are so high that all you can do is pay the minimum balance each month. But then the interest keeps racking up so you never can get to the point of paying it off. You get trapped by making just enough to survive but never enough to pay off the debt so you can save. That’s the debt hole.
Debt sure sounds pretty horrible.
In most cases, debt is crushing, life destroying, and one of the worst financial decisions you can make in life. Scratch that last one. It’s not just one of the worst financial decisions, it’s one of the worst decisions you can make, period. Debt isn’t just a financial problem. It becomes a life problem. A relationship problem. Talk to anyone who’s had too much debt and they will tell you how it’s affected their whole entire life, not just their credit score or their checking account balance. Their whole life has suffered as a result.
When you have debt, you have a chain that prevents you from living fully.
With debt, you may not be able to save for your kids’ education.
You may not be able to save for your retirement.
You may not be able to afford proper medical care.
You may not be able to visit an ailing parent.
You may not be able to start that business you’ve always wanted.
You may not be able to spend quality time with your kids because you have to work two jobs just to get by.
You may not be able to sleep well at night.
Listen up. Debt is no joke. Debt can rip the life from you. But is there such a thing as “good” debt?
The proceeding blog post is an excerpt from Get Money Smart: Simple Lessons to Kickstart Your Financial Confidence & Grow Your Wealth, available now on Amazon.
About the Independent Financial Advisor
Robert Pagliarini, PhD, CFP®, EA has helped clients across the United States manage, grow, and preserve their wealth for the past 25 years. His goal is to provide comprehensive financial, investment, and tax advice in a way that was honest and ethical. In addition, he is a CFP® Board Ambassador, one of only 50 in the country, and a real fiduciary. In his spare time, he writes personal finance books, finance articles for Forbes and develops email and video financial courses to help educate others. With decades of experience as a financial advisor, the media often calls on him for his expertise. Contact Robert today to learn more about his financial planning services.