Paying Off Debt Rant

by Martin

Paying down debt should be simple. You earn an income, pay your expenses, and then you allocate the remainder of your income to paying off your debt (obviously there’s more levels in between). Of course you should also try to follow the debt loyalty list suggested by Suze Orman.

However, let’s face it- paying down debt sucks. We would rather be saving that money or using it to enjoy life a little. Here’s the problem- chances are that you are in debt because you chose to enjoy your life a little too much.

After a few conversations with friends that are stacked with debt I was going to do a full out a rant today. Instead I decided to put together an article that made some sense and offered some solid advice, while still ranting here and there (I hate reading incoherent ramblings online personally).  Now please allow me to jump right into my rant/thoughts on paying off debt:

Take a break from spending money

One thing that annoys me completely is when someone owes me money or owes someone I know money and I find out they are going out. How can you go out to a club and buy expensive drinks when you owe money? First of all, once you build a reputation in your circle of friends for not being able to pay back your debts then good luck on finding financial help when you need it the most. Second of all, how can you have a clear mind while partying when you know that you are doing so on borrowed money? Stop complaining and learn how to do something remotely fun without having to use your credit card for once.

Get back to the basics of money management

Return to the foundations of saving money and managing your money. Pretend you are a child when it comes to managing money if you have to. Remember the days when five bucks was a big deal? At least try to pretend that money has value to you. You can also try to remember the joy you felt when you saved up your allowance for 6 months to buy a new Walkman (anyone remember what came before the Walkman?).

Spending money can be very fun. Instant gratification is a great feeling. Unfortunately, the debt that follows  has no redeeming qualities about it. If you continue to spend money frivolously then as you get older the debt will grow high and higher.

Learn how to embrace frugality

Some may call you “cheap” but there is nothing wrong with applying some basic frugality tips to your life. I know there is a major emphasis in the personal finance community on “big wins” but being in debt you should be looking to take any wins/savings you can get. Frugality isn’t fun but being debt free is. I’m not the type of guy to stress too much about all small expenses but that’s also because I have been fortunate enough to not rack up any debt.

Please feel free to start ranting about paying off debt!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 End Wage Slavery

What I don’t like about Suze Orman is that she is completely unrealistic on meta issues regardless of what she might have to say about individual finances.

Her advice to people who don’t like slaving away for an exploitative wage? Become your own boss! Great idea! Why didn’t they think of that? Maybe because your average wage slave doesn’t have $5 left over after paying his bills for the month let alone enough money to start their own business? Maybe because a wage slave is highly unlikely to get approved for a small business loan?

It’s like she sees what a massive pile of crap capitalism is, how it is more one-sided than a Moscow show trial in the ’30s and how it can’t survive without taking advantage of the vast majority of people but yet she still can’t bring herself to advocate raising the minimum wage to make it a living wage or something radical but necessary like transferring the ownership of businesses into the hands of their workers which would truly be the only option if we want to put an end to the exploitation of the average worker. She can’t bring herself to rip off the band-aid all at once and instead offers idiotic non-solutions that don’t bear any relation to everyday reality because offering such solutions doesn’t threaten the capitalist status quo. Get some guts Suze! Capitalism is a spectacular failure for the average person. You already realize it. Now come out and say it and offer some real solutions.

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