“The rich rules over the poor and the borrower is a slave to the lender."
This proverb gives great insight into the consequences of debt, but what does “slave to the lender” actually mean? Let’s dig in.
Solomon understood not only the risk and stress that debt brings into our lives, but the dynamic that accompanies it. He said that the borrower is a SLAVE. But how does this play out in real life?
Let’s say you were offered a new job doing something you simply love to do. You would jump at this opportunity. Right? But there is a problem: while the job offers advancement possibilities, the starting salary is considerably less than what you are making today. “No problem”, you say. “This is what I love to do. I will certainly earn those advancements. In a few years I will be doing much better than I am now.”
Then your good sense spouse asks the bombshell question, “That sounds good, but we are living paycheck to paycheck now. How are we going to make our payments with less income?”
In your mind you replay your last few years of accumulating debt. That second mortgage on the house doesn’t sound so clever now. That new car that you are way upside down on and the new dining room furniture you bought on 24 months same as cash and the credit card charges from last Christmas and your vacation last summer and, and, and, and … well, you get the idea. The bumper sticker, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go” suddenly is not funny.
That excitement of the new job is swallowed up by the reality of your debt and you realize exactly what debt slavery is all about. This bondage means you are not free. It means you don’t have choices. It means your life is being controlled by another. Bondage is not fun.
In reality, it is even worse. Why? You have not only given up your freedom, you have stifled your creativity. When you don’t have choices, you will subconsciously put your creativity on the back burner. “What’s the use?” you think. “I am stuck and that is just the way it is.”
OK. I have created enough angst. How about some hope? You may not have been able to take that dream job, but it doesn’t mean you are stuck in quagmire for the rest of your life. Millions have been where you are and have come out of their debt messes. The key for you is to decide that you have had enough. Get mad and use the energy of that anger for motivation.
Here are a couple of hints to get you started:
- If married, make sure you share this commitment. Together, you can win but it is nearly impossible if both of you are not on board.
- Attend Financial Peace University. Visit www.daveramsey.com to find a class near you.
- Ask for help. Talk to others who have found success with their finances. Listen and learn.
- Read. There are lots of good books and financial blogs to help you learn and stay motivated.
- Set goals. Most people I have worked with can realistically get out of debt (except for their house) in 24 months or less.
Let me close by asking, “Are you in financial bondage?” You don’t have to stay there. If you plan and sacrifice, you will become free. And that freedom will be something you will never again give up.
Freedom for life…sounds good doesn’t it? It could be you.