I had a conversation with my brother about finances some time ago. We added my family’s combined income (large family). I was blown away to think of how much we made vs. the sheer lack of tangible assets. As Thomas Stanley (author of Millionaire Next Door) put it, we were Income Statement Affluent. You could say we were 2 paychecks away from the projects (low/no-income housing).
I reached my own epiphany with debt after discovering Dave Ramsey. One of his books asked if you can imagine owning your house free and clear. It never occurred to me that one can and should live without a mortgage before retirement. In my upbringing, debt was a way of life. We didn’t by used cars. Finance a new car because it comes with a warranty. As long as you appear to be well off, behind the scenes was less important.
My concern was always the credit score. As long as your score is tip top, then debt is something you managed (i.e accepted as normal). A year of extended underemployment after relocating to marry (10 years before the great recession), an unexpected contract termination, a layoff, a car lease gone bonkers, and one underwater business later; I’m singing another tune. My credit score didn’t help resolve a thing.
Our goal with the Debt Free Divas is to help you make better financial decisions. We want everyone to avoid the pitfalls that developing a comfort level with debt can present. If you don’t know, you don’t know. Learning how to live on a budget, eliminate debt, and develop an emergency fund opens a new world of possibilities for your financial future.
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