Before dipping deep into my journey towards being debt free, it is important to establish why you also might want to be as well (original blog post from 2014 http://adamgreen.ca/2016/05/19/debtfree/)
My primary reasons for being debt free include:
Ever since I can remember, I’ve HATED the feeling of owing someone else something. I never liked being in debt to others, and as soon as I had a debt to someone else, I wanted to clear it up as soon as possible. Maybe you can relate to those feelings.
When the debt is from other sources, like banks, that’s when it seems that most feelings shift and become more justified. Knowing that “the borrower is slave to the lender” Proverbs 22:7, I wanted to be intentional with my finances and work to get out of the bondage of debt as soon as I could in my life. It is freeing knowing that everything is bought and paid for (and will address the temptation to slide back into debt later on in the series)
I feel a sense of security waking up knowing that what I have, is paid for and not owned by the bank.
I want to set a good model for others of financial stewardship, a model that was initially set by my parents, where we consistently lived below our means to establish a stronger financial future as a family (at one point living with all 6 of us in a 1969 12×60 mobile home for five years, until my parents saved the money to build — which I will cover more of in the ‘discipline / delayed gratification’ post to come in the series)
There are definitely different levels of debt. Credit Card Debt (awful), Student Loan Debt (one of highest forms of consumer debt currently, avg time to pay off in Canada.. 18 years… over 1.2 Trillion in student loan debt in USA, more than every credit card combined), Mortgage debt (lower %, higher $’s).
There are schools of thought that there are good debt and bad debt, specifically that credit cards and high-interest debts are bad debts, and that mortgage debt is good debt (in the sense that you need to live somewhere anyway, you get low interest (currently) on the mortgage debt, so you essentially are borrowing money inexpensively, and can leverage that debt to hopefully invest and get a better ROI return, netted out over time). I understand the math on the mortgage/investment side of things, and how you can use it as LEVERAGE. However, beyond the math, I’ve just made the personal decision to avoid all forms of debt (going back to Proverbs 22:7).
As we progress through the coming posts, this is the view I am coming from personally in my desire to be debt free and some of the core reasons why. Your views may be different in some areas, which is completely fine! I’m not here as a financial advisor, just a guy sharing my journey with money, debt, and life, and hope you enjoy the mini series!
Tomorrow is going to be a fun day where I share just how frugal I was growing up (and am now still in many ways) and how little changes can compound into great savings and tackling debt over time.