Friday, November 18, 2011

Article #173 Debt and Freedom

You are not truly free, if you are in debt. Some loans may be necessary for home, car or education, but with the use of credit cards it’s easy nowadays to spend more than you earn or need. What relationship does debt have with honesty? In the days before credit cards, it was difficult to rack up debt IF you didn’t have the money to pay for your purchases. There was, however, a program called layaway which still continues today where you put a small down payment on your purchase then paid monthly until your item was bought. Then and only then, were you allowed to take home your purchase to enjoy. What patience and self discipline that took. (Photo above of my hard working responsible uncle Norman and his family.)

Now people with credit cards and little cash can come home with several cart loads of purchases paid for with PROMISES that they indeed will pay for what they brought in the FUTURE! If they have been unwise in their purchases or misfortune comes in the way of a lost job or uncovered medical expenses, then some people file for bankruptcy. I remember when honest individuals would do all they could to pay at least a little on their bills rather than declaring insolvency.

We live in a different time. I know a few who have declared and filed for bankruptcy at least once, then rebuilt their credit rating and are repeating the cycle. Maybe what I’m talking about is honesty with yourself and understanding how to live within your means, not letting greediness or entitlement take control of your life. Debt can limit your freedom, although it may just seem the opposite. Reading the daily news or watching the news broadcasts on TV, everyday there is a new scheme or scam being revealed. An individual who became rich because others trusted him or her to invest their funds wisely is caught. Maybe it’s time for a return to old fashioned values of honesty, thrift and hard work. But it will take more patience than the rising generation has.

Can we who have struggled through the trials of working for a lifetime at a job and/or at home raising a family sound a voice of warning or wisdom to our children and grandchildren. If we don’t, who will? Are there stories from your youth that you could share, that illustrate these principles? Share your experiences with your family soon.


  1. Do you notice how often commercials in media encourage people to get the things "they deserve?"

    I agree that many important values seem to have slipped away.

  2. You've hit upon a serious problem in our society today. We have a debt economy. It can lead to personal and social financial disaster, as many have already experienced.

  3. I always look at it it a need or a want?

  4. Too often people are motivated by greed rather than kindness.

  5. You are so right.

    I use my card for debit purchases, and I enjoy this because I am spending what I have rather than what I do not. That is such a blessing. I can enjoy what I have rather than worry about it.

    Bless you.

  6. The thing that makes me feel the worse is that kids frequently go into debt to get a college education. A state school here is about 12,000 a year without room and board...we need to value education more than we do and make it more accessible...getting off soap box now..