12 months same as cash. $0 dollars down, nothing due for three months. Bad credit, no credit, no worries! These words fly from posters all down Dort Highway by my home. They can be found in the ads filling our mailboxes, and are shouted by obnoxious hucksters on local television. They are an invitation. “You can have more. You should have more. You deserve more.” And they are removing the biggest objection. “I can’t afford it.” They are getting around it. They are saying don’t worry about what you can afford. The REAL question is do you want it. If you want it, then get it. And worry about paying for it later.
And so we are in debt. 60 month car loans. 29% APR on credit cards that fill our purses and wallets. 30 year mortgages that watch us pay for the home three times over beforewe’re free. We live in debt. To every store and for every product. There are even stores that let us take debt against our next paycheck. There are stores that let us take debt against next year’s taxes. And we keep on borrowing in order to keep all the plates spinning.
When trying to live a life of financial stability, I have adopted a rule. It is advice handed down from heaven. “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Heck yes this is true. And in my early life, I was a slave to many lenders. I owed Discover, Apple, Visa, and even our local bank. I spent 5 years of our early marriage paying every marker we owed across town. We didn’t go on vacation. We kept them old cars running, and wore our tired old clothes. We lived in small apartments. We didn’t go out and eat all the time. And we paid off the debt. We paid off over $20,000 in just 4 years.
And here we are, 10 years later, living the dream. We still live debt free. What does no debt mean for your life? It means you can have a dream and go after it without the stress of how you’re gonna pay your monthly minimums. It meant that when our first baby was born, mama bear could stay home because we didn’t HAVE to bring in two incomes. It meant that we could take a financial hit and not be in immediate danger. It meant we could be generous. It meant all this and so much more.
So, we live debt free. If we can’t afford it, we don’t buy it. We save up for vacations and big household purchases. We live a simple life and we love it. In our home, one of the battles we don’t fight is the stress of cashmoney. This thing that burdens so many does not bring hurt into our hearts. It’s true what they say. Money is a good servant, but a terrible master.