Over the past five years I have experienced the age-old truth- debt equals stress. The more debt you owe the more stress you have. Here's why:

1. When you have debt, you are no longer working for your self. You have another "boss."
When you are living paycheck to paycheck, you are working to pay living expenses and debt. You are responsible for keeping the minimum payments on each car loan, student loan, personal loan, and each credit card you owe. When you add each of those minimum payments up, they are often a large chunk of the monthly income. Each dollar you bring in already has a name on it, so in essence you just worked for that credit card, for that car, for that undergrad class you dropped 10 years ago.

2. You worry more about the future.
When you are in debt, any complication that arises such as an illness, job loss, or wreck can keep you from earning that precious paycheck. The fear of something happening is always lingering in the back of your mind. I know I would have no idea what I would do if my spouse lost his job- how would I keep the house, the car, the food on the table?

3. You are not able to enjoy life freely.
This lingering fear not only keeps you in a state of worry, but also keeps you from enjoying the good things in life. A trip out to eat with the family isn't as enjoyable when you have to worry about how much it's going to cost and which credit card can you put it on. That vacation isn't quite as relaxing when you're worried about how you are going to make ends
meet next week.

4. It keeps you from taking risks.
Debt also needs a safety net. When you have all those payments to make each month, you can no longer be free to start that business you always dreamed of, go back to school full-time or leave the awful job that just gave you a cut in pay. You are stuck where you are because you have to pay the bills, and even a minute drop in income will cause problems.

5. Small emergencies quickly become a crisis.
Something as small as a blown tire can become a disaster of epic proportions. Your credit cards are all maxed out, and you have less than $50 in the bank- you have no room to deal with unexpected problems. You are then faced with finding some way to pay for the emergency- asking a family member for money, going negative in your bank account, or trying to find another place to extend you credit.

Having to juggle all debts you owe- the worry of living from paycheck to paycheck- causes you to change the way you live your life. You become a slave to the debt, and being the slave of the unforgiving master of debt is stressful.

As Solomon the wise man said, "The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender's slave." Proverbs 22:7

There is good news- we can all be freed from debt! The first baby step is realizing the problem- that debt rules the way you live your life.

How has debt affected your stress level and quality of life?

1 comment

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! It really hits close to home because I've been there and felt that on many occasions. Keep up the great work on your blog.