Two Dreams, and Why I Can’t Follow Them.

January 24, 2014

in Money

I have two big dreams. I’ve had both of them for some time. I hope I can someday fulfil both, but right now, I cannot.

Dream 1) Get an RV and travel the US and Canada. Visit the many friends we have made on-line and do some small marriage conferences. Reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Listen to couples so we can gain an even better understanding of marriage, what makes marriages good, and what tears marriages apart.

RV © David Gaudin | Dreamstime.com

Dream 2) Spend some time in the Philippines. I have a friend there I would so love to spend time with. I want to get to know a different culture and learn a new language by living with those who speak it. I want to expand my thinking, challenge my ideas, and see just how far out of the box I can get. 

The Problem) I am in debt. I don’t have the money for either of these dreams. Beyond that, we have to put in many hours to earn enough for both our current and past expenses – so I don’t have the free time to follow my dreams.

Thanks to doing Financial Peace University a couple of years ago, we have reduced our non-house debt by 45%. At that rate, we might be out of debt (aside from the house, which we can sell for at least what we owe) in three years. It eats at me that my past mistakes are taking so long to resolve, and keeping me from doing what I want – and even what I think God wants us to do.

I share all of this to beg you to stop adding to your debt, and start getting out of debt. Debt is not the American way; it is the way of sorrow and destruction. Even if your debt does not ruin you financially, it will limit your choices. It will enslave you to work many hours, limiting your time with your wife and children.

Debt is a bad plan – flee from it!

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2 comments
Rosemary West / forbetterorwhat.com
Rosemary West / forbetterorwhat.com

Paul, you are so right about debt. When I met my husband I had a relatively small amount of credit card debt. Small, but enough to keep me down because, as you so succinctly point out, I was paying for both past and present expenses, as well as interest on those past expenses, and it left me with nothing extra for savings or dreams. When we married, my husband paid off my credit card debt and I promised to follow his example and pay all bills in full each month. We have both stuck to that promise for 28 years. At some point we realized that borrowing money to buy a car was a bad deal. We pledged to buy a car only when we could pay cash for it. This means that cars cost us a lot less, since we are not paying interest on a loan (and may be earning interest on our money as we save it). Our only debt is our mortgage, which should be paid off in about two years. While we are not rich, we are able to save for the future and to pay for some of our dreams now. 


Amazingly, we are in a tiny minority. People are often flabbergasted at the idea of saving for a major purchase (like a car) ahead of time rather than borrowing money for instant gratification. It breaks my heart to see so many people burying themselves under debts that they may never - and I mean never - be able to get free of, starting with the monstrous student loans so many students blindly accept. A debt-free life means that you can handle emergencies, plan for the future with confidence, and enjoy life in the present. 

jksibert
jksibert

I couldn't agree with you more Paul.  We recently became debt-free (including paying off our house), but we do want to do some things to the house (long-overdue updates).  We could take out a loan but I'm so hesitant to do this.  The debt-free feeling is nice.   Be encouraged and know that you are taking steps to lighten your debt!  In that regard, you are way ahead of the path that most people stay on.  

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