Yesterday I told you women have a strong need to feel secure. One of the big things under that is feeling financially secure. Please understand this is not about being rich; it’s about having enough money for what’s needed, and about not having scary levels of debt.
My one big regret at this point in my life is that I’m in debt. I was actually debt free about a decade ago, but I didn’t appreciate how great that was. (Probably because we got out of debt due to an inheritance.) So, I got us back into debt.
Today I understand debt is a trap. Debt controls your life – it forces you to work hard, and it limits your freedom and your choices. There are things we want to do, things we think we should be doing, that we can’t do because we’re digging out of debt.
What saved us from a total debt disaster was doing a Dave Ramsay Financial Peace University class two years ago. I got serious about debt (Lori already was) because of that. We stopped doing anything to add to our debt, and we started to work hard on reducing our debt. Since that time we’ve reduced spending significantly, which allowed us cut our debt. I can’t imagine what would have happened had we not made this change. Last year was very difficult for us financially (due to income reduction from the day job), and had we not cut expenses and reduced debt I don’t see any way we would have avoided bankruptcy in 2013.
It was a tough year, but it would have been horrible had I not finally gotten smart about debt. I see how money concerns affect my bride, and I’m mad at myself for putting her in this situation. She’s great about it, but it’s still difficult for her and I hate that. She is encouraged by the changes, and we are working together to be debt free as soon as possible.
Debt is betting your future, which is not a wise thing to do. Debt is also betting your wife’s future sense of security and happiness, and that’s just plain stupid (I can say that because I;m pointing to myself.) I wish I owned far less and was not in debt; I would make that trade in a second if I had the option. In reality getting rid of debt is usually like losing 100 pounds (45 kg) – it takes a lot of willpower and time.
If you have debt beyond your mortgage, I am begging you to make debt elimination a priority. Aside from being wise, it will have a powerful positive effect on your marriage.
My top suggestion would be to take a Financial Peace University class. Lori and I are getting ready to facilitate a class for the third time. We have seen amazing things happen to those who have gone through our classes, and I wish the same for all of you.