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  1. #1

    Is Debt Holding You Back?

    There Are More Important Things in Life Than Money

    You know that old saying that there are more important things in life than money? Sure there are! But when you're drowning in debt you don't have the time to enjoy them. You're too busy working to pay off your debt. How do I know? Simple. When I had $30,000 of debt, my debt was like a proverbial straightjacket holding me back from the things I wanted to do.

    Not Sure What I'm Talking About?

    Here's How Your Debt Might Be Holding You Back

    1. Jobs. When I was in debt I didn't have the luxury of leaving a job I disliked to follow my passions. I was interested in starting a new career in a different field, but had to keep working my (then) current job because I needed the higher salary to pay my bills. The job I was working was stable, offered health insurance and paid a decent salary. But I hated it! Essentially I was handcuffed to a job that made me miserable because I needed the paycheck to keep my debt current. I would have loved to start my own business or transition to a less stressful and more fulfilling career path, but because of my debt I "had" to stay at the job I hated for two long years.

    2. Travel. I couldn't justify spending any money on travel when I was in debt. While my friends were jet-setting (OK, just going on week-long vacations here and there), I had to stay at home. Not only was I "broke" and unable to pay for hotels and plane tickets, I also couldn't afford to take any time off to travel because that would mean losing the income from my part-time and weekend jobs. For the two years I was paying off my debt, my only vacations were trips to my parents' home. Not exactly luxurious or exciting. But when you're in debt you have to travel to places you can afford.

    3. Education. Need to go back to school to get a credential? Can't get promoted without a degree? Want to start a different career path? If you're struggling to pay your monthly bills, going back to school is virtually impossible. When you have to make a decision between putting food on the table for your kids or getting the masters degree you've always wanted, guess which one comes first? It's hard to follow your educational dreams when your mortgage payment is late and your credit cards are maxed out.

    4. Friends & Family. Interested in distancing yourself from friends and family and making them feel like you've abandoned them? Go into debt! When you're in debt you have to turn down a lot of fun offers. You don't have time to have a coffee with friends or grab a drink with co-workers. You don't even have time to attend house parties or barbeques because you're working all the time. When I was in debt, I spent most of my nights and weekends working extra jobs. I spent far less time with my friends and family because I was working around the clock trying to make money to pay off my debt.

  2. Is Debt Holding You Back?
  3. #2
    Registered User Enthusiast
    Good article! The friends thing is definitely true for me. It's hard to justify going out for drinks or to dinner when you're in debt. My friends do that stuff a couple of times a week and I can't afford to go and they aren't big on staying in and doing inexpensive things.

  4. #3
    Registered User Enthusiast
    I would say education is what I'm really missing out on. I have a lot of credit card debt but not from anything productive, its all from shopping. It's hard to get a good job without a college degree. All I'm qualified for is to be a personal shopper!

    I'd like to go to school but taking on even more debt right now would be crazy. Then if I couldn't get a job afterwards I'd be in even bigger trouble than I am right now.

  5. #4
    Registered User Junior Member
    When I was a kid my parents always told me not to get into debt since it commits money you haven't earned yet and keeps the money from stuff you actually need. Probably the only piece of advice I followed, glad it was that one!

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