Homestead Finances: The Debt-Monster

Few things have ruined as many relationships as money issues. Two people can be best friends and money can drive them apart if they aren’t careful. This lifestyle we’ve chosen, to homestead and live simply, is one that requires two things first and foremost: a good partner and good money-management.

That being said, this is the first in a series we will be writing on what we consider to be the most important facets of attaining financial peace and prosperity in the homesteading lifestyle. We hope you enjoy!

Modern America runs off of debt. Period.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. The debt-monster has crept its way into every nook and cranny of modern life. Today there is not a single aspect of life where financials can be honestly discussed without mentioning debt. The nation is in debt. The town is in debt. The neighborhood is full of debtors and if I were a betting man I’d wager….you are in debt. Our entire culture is one of debt-encouragement. From the moment we enter into adulthood many of us already are being encouraged to take on debt. The college-conglomerate pushes students to borrow, car-lots promise low-APR 72-month terms on top-trim vehicles, and credit card companies promise the instant gratification social media and the internet has made us so accustomed to.

(New cards subject to 24.99+% APR dependent upon credit, (Which of course most young people haven't established yet.))

At first glance it may seem there is nothing wrong with the idea of borrowing now to repay later. Try thinking of it this way though:

Any time you borrow money you are agreeing to pay that money back later, plus some (interest for the service of borrowing.) In doing this you are doing nothing more than placing a bet that you will have more money later than you do now and if you lose that bet you lose more than just the money you’ve paid so far.

Lets imagine for a moment someone is borrowing $20,000 for a new car. In this (and any) borrowing situation, ownership of the property in question belongs to the lender until the parameters of the wager are met:

Person – “I bet you $20,000 I can pay for that car in 3 years.”

Banker – “Okay, let’s make a bet. I’ll buy the car for $20,000 right now, but only if you agree to pay me back $600 per month for three years for a total of $21,600 (a few dollars for my service). So long as you pay you may do as you wish with the car. If you fail to pay according to the terms though, the car is mine.”

Person – “Okay, you’ve got a deal.”

Banker – “I’ll go get the paperwork….”

Looked at this way it is obvious how dangerous debt can become. Gambling is a bad habit if you let it get out of control and so is the debt-monster. With modern lending-practices it is very easy to find yourself living a lavish life, yet not owning a single thing and tied to a job you hate….forced to keep working for others instead of for yourself.

So the question may arise for those great many people in the same shoes as we…

What can be done to gain control of your debt-monster?

We will cover what we’ve  started doing to get control of ours in the next piece in this little ‘series’….


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