I was sick and tired of owing someone else. I was tired of making payments to the bank that should have been going into my retirement account. I wanted to be wealthy and in control of my money, and I finally realized that as long as I was sending money to someone else I would never reach my goal. I always knew debt wasn’t smart but I had always accepted debt as a way of life. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties before I finally realized that only normal people accept debt.
Why I Decided to Become Debt Free
I didn’t want to be normal. I wanted to be wealthy. So I made a decision to become debt free and never borrow money again. No exceptions. It was a life changing decision. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I decided that anything easy wasn’t worth doing. I wanted to be totally weird and become debt free without a “magic pill” solution, otherwise known as debt consolidation and/or bankruptcy. I finally realized that my problems were my fault and my responsibility. Nobody else could solve my problems for me. That’s like taking a drunk to an AA meeting. You can take him to the meeting, but until he’s ready to admit he has a problem and become willing to change, you can’t do much for him. So I accepted responsibility for my actions and decisions, and I resolved to do things right.
I knew that borrowing money to achieve financial goals somehow cheapened the accomplishment. It’s like taking steroids to win the gold medal in the Olympics. Steroids may make it easier to reach your athletic goals but you didn’t put forth the real effort it takes to be a champion. Plus, you run the risk of getting caught and losing the accomplishment altogether. That’s what happens when you “cheat” and borrow money to get to the top quicker. You use a shortcut that gets you quicker results but leaves you feeling hollow inside. You didn’t really work hard to purchase that boat or car. You purchased it first, and now you have to work harder for the privileged of owning it plus all the interest you agreed to pay. The hollow feeling leaves you wanting more so you borrow more money again and again until you get caught and you lose it all to bankruptcy.
I decided I never again wanted to feel that hollow feeling. I wanted to know that if I became wealthy it was because of my own hard work and good choices with my money. I wanted to know that if I came up short, it was because of my efforts, not because someone else let me down. Yes, I could have taken many shortcuts to building wealth and providing for my family but I guess it came down to this: Two paths converged in the woods. I chose the one less traveled.Matt Wegner is a personal finance, small business and leadership coach focused on teaching his clients the tools for L.I.F.E. (Living In Financial Excellence). Discover which paths are in front of you. Request a free planning session today or visit financialexcellence.net.