7 Reasons You Can’t Afford To Have Debt

Debt is a completely normal thing to have. I’m here to tell you why you probably shouldn’t have it.

Shouldn’t have it you say?! How is that even possible??

Don’t get too excited now.

Debt – especially a LOT of debt – can have a really negative effect on you and your money situation. I wanted to spark some thoughts about how you spend your money and why you sincerely can’t afford to have debt.


Debt Makes You Think You Can Afford More Than You Really Can

When using a credit card, you can basically buy whatever you want, regardless of what’s in your bank account. You can buy those really expensive sunglasses even though you only have $16 left in your account till Friday.

You think because you have enough credit left, you’re OK to buy the sunglasses… when in reality, you’re not spending your own money to purchase them.

Some furniture places will let you finance a couch, making you think that it’s only $50 per month! You can afford that, right?! Well, the couch isn’t technically yours until you pay it off, and that’s just adding to your stack of bills for the month. Kind of sounds more stress-inducing, doesn’t it? If you need a new couch, try these methods first.

There’s No Pain

When you use a credit card or take out a loan, it isn’t very painful. You don’t physically see the money leaving you. You’re just watching a magic plastic rectangle give you what you want. This reinforces in your brain that you don’t have to give anything up in order to buy stuff.

Online shopping is even worse – especially if you already have your credit card numbers programmed into your browser. You literally press a button and have the items you’re ordering paid for almost instantly. Talk about zero pain. Not to mention very minimal thinking about whether you should buy it or not.

This is well thought out by companies trying to sell you stuff. They make it *super easy* and quick to pay for things with a card. Makes you buy more, that’s for sure!

Check out my post Cash Is King to read more about why cold-hard cash is a superior way to spend your money.

You Actually Pay More

This isn’t all the time, but generally, the interest monster will get you and you’ll end up paying more than if you had just paid cash for it up front.

For example: If you borrow $20,000 for a car at 5.0% interest with a 5-year loan, you will end up paying a total of $2,645.48 in interest over the term of the loan. An extra $2,600 is a lot of money you could’ve saved and put to much better use!

Most credit and loan programs include interest. You are buying things sooner than you could, but you’re really paying more for them in the end. This results in higher profits for the seller.

Think about it, the idea of “debt” is not to make your life easier, it’s for these companies to make money. If this weren’t the case, it would never be a thing. These companies loan you money so they can make a profit!

Encourages You To Consume

Consume, consume, consume!!!!!

I come across a lot of young people around my age thinking that right out of college, they should be living at the standards their parents are living at. We need to take a step back and realize that it took them a really long time to get to where they are today.

This type of thinking leads to a ton of unnecessary consumption, usually resulting in loooooads of debt. You probs can’t afford that house that’s really similar to your parents or even the car that they have, but you buy it anyway. You’re not really buying it though – you take out a loan for it.

Hey, if you can get it now why wait and save up? You’re probably thining, I want that nice car now instead of later. I work hard and I deserve it.

Being able to use loans and credit cards to purchase leads to the need for instant gratification – I want it right now and I’m gonna get it. This really leads to consumption of crap you don’t need, stuff that doesn’t fulfill you.

Once you get into the consumption cycle it’s hard to get out of it. You may think that if you stop buying and getting everything you want then your quality of life will go down. This is actually quite the opposite, though!

From my own experience, saving up and paying for items makes me really prioritize what I truly want or need.  It seriously prevents me from buying pointless stuff, such as EVERYTHING from the Target dollar section. 😉

Added bonus: when you go all Marie Kondo and decide to declutter your entire home, it’s a much less time-consuming to get rid of extra junk, because you don’t have so much!

Double added bonus: it’s super satisfying to pay for a large item with money that you’ve saved up. Definitely makes you feel accomplished.

Stress

If you have a lot of debt, you definitely may worry how you’re going to pay your bills. Before we paid our debt off, one of my student loan payments a month was about $600!! That’s a ton of money. Now add a car payment, rent or mortgage, 3 credit card bills, utilities, OPE! Then your car needs to get fixed. Guess you better put it on the credit card.

Whew! Just typing that made my heart rate go up.

When I have a problem that I’m super stressed about (for example, money problems) and I have no idea how to fix it, my default is to just close my eyes and hope that it disappears magically. It can really linger and it make you feel so uncomfortable that you want to cry.

If you’re feeling this crippling way and you’re super stressed about money and debt, read this post for a starting point.

Bills, Bills, Bills

Like I said, you have the potential for a crazy amount of bills if you have a crazy amount of debt!

They keep stacking the further you get into debt, because if you can’t pay your bills (or pay for an emergency), then you’re going to have to pay somehow – that is, most likely with a loan or credit card. It can just keep piling up.

Having more bills to sort through for the month can be super exhausting and stressful – and doesn’t leave much room for you to actually save up any money after all those payments are made.

No Money To Save

If you’re using most of your money to make payments on all of these bills, chances are you don’t have a lot of money left over to build your savings account.

Saving is extremely important for financial security, peace of mind, and to give you the tools to accomplish your dreams. Growing your savings account will really enhance the quality of life that you’re living.

If you can’t save due to all of your bills, you can easily get sucked into a cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck. No one wants to live like that. If you didn’t have all of those extra payments, think of how much money you could save!

You can’t afford to have debt because there’s a chance you’ll have no real money, and nothing to show for all of your hard work.

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

Having debt and being able to obtain it so quickly can encourage the mind to believe that money = happiness. At least for a short time.

You feel pretty on top of the world when you show off that brand new unnecessarily huge truck to your friends. Three years later, when no one cares and you’re still making payments on that truck, you may wish you had saved all the money you have been paying the past three years on something that truly contributes to your future.

Have I convinced you yet?

I’m not here to say all debt is bad or that you can’t have any debt. Personally, my husband and I have zero debt and it’s really rewarding and reassuring to know that there’s money in the bank and we have limited bills. For us, we couldn’t afford debt because we are highly aware of all of the negatives that go along with it, no matter what kind of debt it may be.

If you’re looking to get out of debt but have no idea where to start (or if you’re slowly working at it but you just need a kick in the booty!) I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s book Total Money Makeover. We followed Dave Ramsey’s plan to be debt free and it worked! We paid off more than $40,000 in under a year. It was pretty awesome.

It’s funny that in our society, paying full price with real money for some things (like a car) is almost taboo. Like, it’s super odd. That’s why I want to encourage you all to keep trucking along on A Peculiar Path with me and don’t you worry about what other people think! 😉

Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase. 

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