Debt is one of those things that is almost unavoidable. If you want to buy a car, you’re likely taking out a loan to pay for that car. If you are looking to buy a house, unless you are very wealthy, you are going to be getting a mortgage on the home.
Some debts are less bad to carry and have some tax advatages over the others, like mortgages. Others are really just bad—think revolving credit card debt that never gets paid off. But if you’re trying to get out of debt, you may come across a lot of misinformation.
While we know how we should live financially, many of us just don’t listen. Thing is, I believed the lies and fell for the hype as well. I didn’t listen to what the experts had to say. I just did what I thought was right based on what I was reading and had been told by others in my situation. But all along I was just lying to myself.
The thing is, debt is bad. There is no other way to say it. You don’t want it. You don’t need it. So why then, do we all continue to believe the myths and lies? Perhaps it is because we just don’t even know that is what they are. I along with many many others are guilty of believing and living these untruths. Here are 10 lies people believe about getting out of debt.
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1. Everyone’s got debt
This one isn’t entirely false. Most Americans—75 percent—do carry debt. Most can be attributed to student loans, mortgages, and car loans.
The really unfortunate form of debt is the dreaded credit card that you can’t pay down.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on non-mortgage debt. Focusing on credit cards, student loans, and automobile loans. While auto loans have finite terms, credit card and student loan debts could literally stay with you a lifetime if you don’t hunker down and come up with a plan to take care of them.
There are many Americans who have no debt at all. Some do not even have a mortgage payment. “If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you jump too?” Of course not. You have more common sense than to do that, don’t you? Why then, do you think that just because everyone has debt that it is OK for you to have it too.
This lie is often trotted out when we want to excuse a new purchase. Herd mentality is nothing new. I used this very defense more than once when I wanted my parents to buy the next “new thing” for me in high school. “But mom… but dad, everyone has one!” However, there are plenty of people who have no debt at all, not even a car payment or a mortgage. Debt does not have to be a constant reality from birth to death. Everyone does not have debt.
2. I don’t need to sacrifice
To be frank, I hate the term “sacrifice.” What you really need to do in order to free yourself from burdensome debt is to make an active choice to do so. Choosing not to buy the latest iPhone or smart watch is not a sacrifice. Jumping on a grenade in a war zone is a sacrifice.
If you think that you are going to get out of debt without making the hard choices about the purchases that you make going forward, then you should stop reading now.. not really. But thinking of this reminds me of Dave Ramseys saying “If you will live like no one else now, later you can live like no one else“
See also: Dave Ramsey vs Robery Kiyosaki
You are most likely going to have to say no to a lot of things. That dinner date with your friends at the fancy sushi restaurant, the new iPhone, that gym membership that you only use once a month, or the fastest internet plan your provider offers.
3. I can only afford unhealthy foods
While going to McDonald’s and buying food off of the dollar menu may be cheaper than going to the grocery store and getting some healthy alternatives, it is not a good life choice.
You can create extremely budget friendly meals at home that will not only be better for your body, but will taste better, too.
If you doubt me, here is a link to 15 recipes that you can cook at home for under five bucks! There are so many more that you can find on your own by just searching for key terms like “cheap, healthy recipes.”
What’s the point of getting out of debt if you can’t live long enough to enjoy the benefits?
No more excuses for eating that unhealthy fast food—well, at least not monetarily.