REVOLUTION – A forcible overthrow of a social order in favor of a new system.
Think about the power of that word, REVOLUTION! Examine the meaning of each of the words in the definition…A FORCIBLE OVERTHROW OF A SOCIAL ORDER…in our case a financial social order. What is our financial social order? Consumerism. The good ol’ Wikipedia defines consumerism as “a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amount”, for which, I would add, if not controlled, to the detriment to the consumer. According to a 2016 Bloomberg article, the average American household debt is approximately $132k (including mortgage). The breakout of debt is as follows:
- $16,000 in credit card debt
- $172,806 mortgage
- $28,535 auto loan
- $49,042 in student loans
For a whooping grand total of $1.3 trillion dollars in household debt. This is insanity, yet we all find it normal!
For years I didn’t think much of using credit to buy things, perhaps because this is our social norm and this is what I was taught. I was told there is good debt and bad debt. I used debt to fund my college, buy my first SUV, buy furniture, buy trips, buy my first and second home, you name it, whether good or bad debt, I used it. Looking back, these are terrible decisions that I made, and if I knew then what I know now, I would work harder to avoid or reduce using debt in the first place. I never liked using credit, but then again, I never really thought about what it meant to have so much of it either, until one day, I felt I wasn’t getting ahead.
I began questioning why I wasn’t getting ahead. I felt I had done everything right. I went to college, graduated with a degree in Engineering, made a decent salary, kept debt “low” (or so I thought), but I felt financially stuck. That’s when I had my REVOLUTION moment. I don’t remember the exact day, but I do remember what I was thinking and feeling:
- I’m tired of owing money
- I’m tired of not having enough money to do the things I wanted without having to use credit
- I’m tired of looking at my paycheck and thinking that after bills, not much was left over
- I’m tired of the stress
- I’m tired of not being able to invest
- I’m tired for feeling like I owed someone (loans and credit cards) and was working to pay them back
- I’m tired of not having enough money for my dreams
Life wasn’t supposed to be going this way, I was supposed to be winning! Life has a crazy way of providing you the answer when you are ready to receive it. For me, it was Dave Ramsey. I started listening to the Dave Ramsey show on the radio and I remember him quoting Proverbs 22:7, “…the borrower is slave to the lender”.
This quote from Proverbs rang true with me. I felt like a financial slave, working to for the credit cards and loan companies. It was then I realized I needed to take responsibility and make a change. I needed a REVOLUTION in my life. My REVOLUTION would be defined as the forcible overthrow of my financial social order IN FAVOR OF A NEW SYSTEM. What was my new system going to entail? NO DEBT including my mortgage in order to fulfill my dreams. I was determined find a system in which I could get out of debt and stay out of debt as quickly as possible. In addition, I would avoid credit if at all possible.
- RADICAL, yes!
- UNCONVENTIONAL, definitely!
- IMPOSSIBLE, no!
Well, at least I don’t think it’s impossible. At the start of my journey, it definitely felt impossible, but with time and a plan, things are slowing turning in my favor. This is my journey and I’m hoping to shed some light on showing that it is POSSIBLE. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m dreaming again. Weird how it all works out once you put your mind, soul, and effort into something.
Have you or do you feel the same way I do about debt? Look within yourself and discover your REVOLUTION moment! Dream again!