Sacrificing Your Freedom for Debt Payments

by Kevin on July 6, 2013

As a nation we just celebrated our 237th birthday. A day of freedom, a day of rebellion, a day of choosing a different path.

We have the freedom to do just about anything we want in the United States as long as it doesn’t trample on the rights of others. And we have an economy that allows us the freedom to carve our own path and earn an income in ways that people around the world only dream of.

Yet as a nation a vast majority of us have decided to not choose a different path. Instead we’ve taken the path of short term gratification over long term freedom. We want all the stuff today at a sacrifice of tomorrow.

The impact is devastating. It is estimated that 7 out of every 10 households live paycheck to paycheck. They have no emergency fund. No savings set aside. They aren’t ready for the rainy days that are inevitably headed their way. All it takes is one slip up, one layoff, or one unexpected event to wipe them out financially.

It doesn’t make sense. The alternative is much more attractive, but we shun the longer and more patient road.

How Debt Takes Away Your Freedom

In short, we’ve traded the amazing freedom available to us for stuff that ties us down to debt payments that last years or even decades. Those payments keep us tied down to jobs we don’t like and living in areas we’d prefer not to be.

We’re stuck and unable to pick up and move because of all the debt payments weighing us down.

Embrace Freedom and Stop Taking on New Debt

To get out from under the weight of debt you’ll need to pay it off. One of the first things you need to do is to stop taking onĀ new debt. It doesn’t matter how much debt you pay off or how hard you work if you’re constantly adding to your debt burden.

This means a major shift in mindset must take place. You have to stop wanting the latest and greatest and shiny and new. You don’t have to cut out everything that you come across, but buying everything isn’t helping your situation.

How to Have a Boston Tea Party for Your Stuff

You remember the Boston Tea Party from your history classes in school, right? Tea was thrown overboard as a way of saying “enough is enough!”

If you’re struggling with debt and stuff it might be time to have a Boston Stuff Party to say you’ve had enough with buying stuff you can’t afford.

Sure, things are nice. Services like the fastest home internet and best TV channels are great, too. But are they truly fulfilling you?

Or ask yourself this: what could my life look like if I didn’t have to pay all these monthly payments for all this stuff? What if my credit card balance was zero? What if I could take all of those minimum payments and use them for trips, or to build up an emergency, or to buy a house of my own?

Stuff is great. But stuff can take your freedom.

Take it back.


Laurie @thefrugalfarmer July 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Kevin, very well said. We truly have traded our freedom for stuff. I only hope we as a nation realize it and dig our way back to freedom before it’s too late.

Alexandra @ Real Simple Finances July 8, 2013 at 8:13 am

A very motivational post. I think you really hit the issue on the head here. Thanks for this! I don’t think enough people realize how enslaved they are to their debt; they feel as though they’re losing their freedom if they save $50 a week in fast food to put toward debt.

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