And the rich will rule over the poor, and the borrower will be slave to the lender
– Proverbs 22:7
Regardless of whether or not you are religious, if you have monthly debt obligations, this verse applies to you.
Think about it. REALLY think about it. How much of your time, money and efforts are going towards these debts? For us, it was huge. We had my student loans, my husband’s student loans, helicopter school loan’s (which went bankrupt before he finished, but not the loan company!), furniture payments, two to three car payments a month, a personal loan, all of our credit cards were maxed out, etc. Our life was not our own, it was all promised away to our lenders.
Paying bills was a juggling act that took forever to do. We were moving one thing to cover another thing and stretching those grace periods. We dodged phone calls. Going to the mailbox gave us a sick feeling in the pit of our stomachs. We could NOT AFFORD to take off of work. We did NOT ENJOY our free time. It was like we always had this dark cloud over it: how are we going pay for this? Life was always stressful and always tense. It created more problems in our marriage because we were both in survival mode and fighting for whatever we had or wanted. It wasn’t a healthy way to live, but we didn’t know any better. When you have always lived in the storm, it’s just normal to you. You don’t know that there is sunshine on the other side.
The great thing about following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps is that you CAN achieve freedom. I didn’t realize how heavily burdened I was until the links of the chain started to fall off. As each chunk of debt was paid, the chain got lighter and lighter. Our time became ours. Our marriage became stronger. And the storm finally started to pass. We began to live in the present and plan for our future, instead of rotting away on the hamster wheel paying for our past.
I think that’s what kills me the most. People work so hard and give up so much of their precious time, just to keep moving on the hamster wheel of debt. They’re constantly moving, but never going anywhere. I see their perseverance in wanting to stay caught up and how hard they’ll work to do it. I want to scream that there’s another way. By being a financial coach, I won’t scream at you, but I will get to change the course of your life. There’s that saying, that to the world you might be one person, but to one person, you’re the world. Let’s change your world.