Debt numbers are some of the most annoying numbers. At least, they are to me. I don’t like the idea of having to pay off something because it makes me feel like I have to live restrictedly. I have read many a blog post that has discussed ways to save money by not spending so much on groceries or electricity, making your own cleaning products, etc. I know all the tips because they are re-blogged over and over again. It is disappointing because I keep looking for new tips in hope that I would find one I haven’t heard of.
I have read many a debt payoff story, too. Many have started out with, “I had student loans and while I was in college I used my credit card for whatever I wanted. I was able to pay off everything in [X amount of time] and now life is great!” Just like you only see success stories on informercials for a weight loss/exercise program, I think we only hear certain stories when it comes to having debt. Are the people who we read about who paid off debt really just getting to a point in their lives where they stop wasting money? Has their student loans provided them an education that got them a job that makes a decent amount of money? Have they all used credit cards to get what they wanted so that is out of their systems? Did they use credit cards to get what they needed so they don’t have to pay for it now? And does that get them to a point in their life where they really don’t want to spend extra money? I believe so.
I don’t want to come across as bashing these people, but the whole story isn’t being told. And of course, every debt story will not line up with what I have outlined.
At least in America, certain circumstances put people in debt. As for my husband and I, we have to pay child support on top of other things. We have hospital bills because even those bills are cheaper than paying for health insurance plus the copays. Things break and we have to fix them.
As a Christ follower, I believe I am to pay what is owed. (I get this from Romans 16 in the New Testament. One sentence says, in my own words, “Owe nothing to no one, except to love one another.”) Yet I translate that as, “Have no debt ever.” I don’t think that is what is being said.
There is a reason why debt bothers me so much. Stay tuned for a follow up post.