Debt: The New Normal in America Today

In America today, it is accepted, and even expected, to carry debt.  It is the American way to purchase items, even though the funds aren’t available in one’s bank or investment accounts.  Here is a fact: whenever a person purchases a car, clothes, TV, or a computer by financing it or putting it on a credit card, this means the money had to be borrowed in order to buy it.  Let that settle for a second.  Here is a commonly believed myth: “If I can afford the monthly payment, then I can afford it.”  This is the angle by which car salesmen approach potential buyers when entering the showroom.  For my money, I could envision replacing my Nissan Altima with an Audi A8.  I’m sure I could afford the payment, and I have earned it, right?

The salesman knows that selling a vehicle and charging interest for it over years and years is highly profitable.  In the end, he has sold the car for thousands of dollars more than it was worth.  Consumers who make purchases in this manner often are the same ones who have a large house, two new cars, nice clothes, private school for the kids, and are flat broke.  But it’s a selfish way to live and here’s why.  How can one give to God or to their neighbor in need if they’ve already spent all of their money on themselves?

Our political leaders are often the worst models of fiscal responsibility, who put the citizens of our country into great danger by spending trillions of dollars more than the government brings in.  It seems as though there are no adults left at local, state or federal levels of government who will say “no.”  Where are the responsible leaders who will put on their big-boy pants and cut spending?  As King Solomon stated long ago, “the borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).  Any individual or nation that spends more than they collect weaken themselves and literally enslave themselves to others.

Even though we may not lead a nation, everyone of us have been given resources to manage.  Wherever you are at financially, it’s time to establish a plan and get out debt and servitude to others.  How?  The first step is to visit Dave Ramsey’s website and get started.  He is a financial guru who provides lots of tools for budgeting, debt reduction, and savings.   And he teaches finances from principles found in the Bible.  A couple of my favorite Dave mantras are, “debt is dumb” and “cash is king.”

If you do enter Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University“, be prepared to be considered a little wierd by your friends, neighbors, and family.  They will tell you that debt is reality and borrowing money is just how things are done.  It’s time to live better.  Seek after the peace that comes from being debt-free.

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