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Find Out How to Get Out of Debt

Do you deserve nice things or to be in debt? 

If you work hard, you deserve a vacation.  But do you deserve that Disney vacation?  You have to pay for it, you know, the travel, the hotel, the tickets, the theme park food, and those hats with Mickey’s ears on them, and Minnie’s, too.  If you didn’t get a promotion, can you afford to go?  And even if you did get extra money, why give it to The Walt Disney Company?  He worked hard to get his money, yes, his fame, his fortune, but he worked hard at making money, too. He didn’t give all of his money away.  He invested it in what would make him more money, and so do all of the Disney family members who make money just by having the uncommon name Disney.  And it’s not just the Disney name that makes money. The Ford Motor Company gets a lot of our money when we see brand new cars that we want.  Let's not forget Nissan, Acura, BMW, and whatever other name pops up.  But do we have to spend our hard-earned money on a new car when our car or a used car works just fine and drives us to the same places?  Why do we deserve to be in debt?

I went to college and earned my A’s and B’s, and let’s be honest, my C’s, and I can get a good job with my degrees, my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree, but I didn’t pay for them.  The government did.  They want me to pay them back, yes, but until I pay them back, they don’t have the money they gave me.  I took up teaching, which does not pay a lot of money.  In fact, if I taught with Teach for America, they would send me to a school that does not have a lot of money and pay my student loan debt.  So what value do I really put on my education? Do I deserve to be in more debt?  How much debt am I in for being smart?

My friend says I deserve to be in a nice house.  I found a house that said “rent to own,” but it was pretty scammy.  The financial person got me into a program, so I found a better house, a really great house.  However, my aunt said I needed to pay my student loans back first.  Technically, as long as people show they pay back their loans, they can get mortgages, but to a hard-working person, that seems counterintuitive; if they haven’t paid back their student loans, how can they afford a house?  Can I afford this house right now?  I haven’t made any changes to the house, but I also have put a lot of books, clothes, yarn, two cats, and several other miscellaneous items into the house.  Do I deserve what I have?  Well, I am paying back credit cards and a mortgage, and I have not paid back my student loans, so to be honest, no, I don’t deserve what I have.  I was looking for an apartment I could afford, and then this house showed up from out of nowhere, not even an idea to get a house, not one thought before May 31, 2015 when I found the “rent-to-own” house on the internet.  If it wasn’t for the internet, I never would have even moved. 

My pastor says we get God’s grace and love and will be saved and go to heaven when we die not even if we don’t deserve it, but because we don’t deserve God’s love.  We are all sinners, flesh and ideas both.  A whole bunch of us do not deserve what we get, financially nor spiritually.  However, do we deserve to buy things we cannot pay cash for and get into debt with people who will get into debt because we can’t pay them back and will borrow money, and so on?  Our country is trillions of dollars in debt, not 1,000, not 100,000, but 100,000,000,000.  Do we deserve to be beholden to other people because we need a new car, not just a well-maintained car, or want to go on vacation?  How many times have we borrowed money from people we know for lunch or a ticket or something and intend to pay them back but forgot?  How often do we remember and let it go?  Why do people work hard if it is only to get themselves in more debt?  My stepfather just turned 65, and he still works, and neither he nor I can afford for him to retire and just rest after several years of working hard.  Does he deserve to rest now?  I think so, and I hope to rest by the time I get to be 65.  My mother had to stop working because she was physically unable to work, so she received Social Security Disability, but it was tied to money she worked hard to get, and she paid into the system that later took care of her.  But it wasn’t enough to keep her in the lap of luxury or even comfortably.  She simply lived simply.  I could see it took its toll on her. My aunt still works at age 76 in a full-time half-standing-up job because she can’t afford to just sit still and rest, and she worked hard for 30 years in a very thankless and strenuous job as a 411 operator, back when we used that all the time.  We still have them, by the way, human beings who look up phone numbers.  Do we thank them?  Hardly!  What did my family members do to deserve this working life when they could be resting after years of work?  Did they overspend, or did the country overspend for them so the cost of living is so high?  What do we really need to live on? What do we really need to live? 

The next time you go shopping for food and items you actually need, and something catches your eye, remember that you had to work hard to earn the money to buy that, and someone else, maybe someone in another country, had to work hard to make that something and may not be able to afford what you are buying. Maybe you need to take an honest look at your credit card bill and say, well, did I really need that?  In your checkbook or bank statement, how much money goes to charity?  I give money to Plan USA and Alabama Baptist Children’s Home so foster children can have food and shelter.  What am I spending money on for myself?  Do I really need it?  Or do I go to Walmart and stuff just jumps into my cart? Do I go to clothing stores?  I go to thrift stores, and does stuff cry for me to take them home? Sometimes they get so loud, it’s hard to think straight. However, what do I buy, and what does that say about me?  What are your good bargains saying to the credit card companies?  Do you deserve nice things?  Do you deserve nice things now, or do you deserve to rest when you have worked hard all of your life?  I have tried to work hard, but it’s not hard enough to buy what I want to buy now and face an uncertain future. 

So what do you want, what do you deserve, and what can you afford? What do you buy on a daily basis that you can leave at the store or restaurant? I just paid $5 for coffee, iced coffee, mocha latte, espresso, whatever it’s called, because I wanted free advice from a woman who was working on her website. Did I listen to her? No, I was busy on a writing jag. I also had a $3.25 scone, which was ugly like heck, frankly, and I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. I should have eaten real food, and I really should have just gotten water and let it go, or just had them meet me at my home. I have a perfectly good house, as I said before. People want to get out of the house so much, they don’t think about going to other people’s houses and call that an adventure. What can I afford at a place with $5 coffee? Not even the waiter’s time to get a glass of water, guys, not even that.

I hope the next time you say to yourself, “What can I get today?” you will think, “Smarter, prettier, or richer,” not something at Voldemart. (A little joke with my friend)

Lynette Gough, Owner, Make a Great Impression Writing Consultant Firm