debt as bondage

November 21st, 2007

Debt as Bondage

A reader sent me an email last week and in it, described debt as bondage. I have been thinking about that phrase ever since, and even though I never thought about it that clearly and succinctly in my head, how true it is.

Every decision that we make as a family right now is somehow tied into our debt. From my employment options to going out to eat to driving across town, the fact that we have a significant amount of debt is tied to it. Some things are affected much more strongly than others of course, but very few things are untouched by our debt.

Every month, we must pay $228.32 to our credit union to keep our car.

Every month, we must pay $144.50 and $237.59 to Sallie Mae to keep our student loans from defaulting.

Every month, we must pay a variable amount (right now $63) as a minimum to our credit card to keep them from jacking up our interest rate and eventually suing us for the balance. Much more must be paid per month ($300-$400) if we want to avoid paying interest in the future.

So at a bare minimum, $673.41 must go to our creditors every month to preserve the status quo. (I haven’t included our mortgage payment here because we have to live somewhere, and it wouldn’t be that much different than a rent payment for us. But of course, our mortgage is debt too and we need to pay it or lose our house, which would be very very bad.)

That $673.41 plus whatever else we pay over our minimums to reduce our credit card is a form of bondage. Bondage to our creditors, bondage to my spouse’s employer so we don’t go under, it keeps us from taking risks we might take if we had less set obligations.

Our debt is no one’s fault but our own. I am not at all berating our creditors for this “bondage” I feel. This was created by us, and it will be eliminated by us. And someday – we will have choices. We will choose to save, or choose to spend, and it will be our decision to do so.

We made the decision to be in debt so long ago I don’t remember the decision process – but I sure remember the result.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

You can also: Stumble It!  
Bookmark  
Submit to Reddit  
Submit to Tip’d


13 Responses to “Debt as Bondage”

  1. Sometimes it feels kind of hopeless. I know it’s not, but all the payments due and such make me sad.

  2. That’s exactly how I think about it, as bondage. It limits your FREEDOM to make the choices you want to make. I, for example, would loveeeeeee to just move to Europe right now. But I can’t. Not until I get this debt monkey off my back. Because every single day COSTS me something.

  3. Yep, it makes me sick to think about how much money I am paying for debt and interest and what a large portion of my working hours it takes to fund those payments.

    Not to get all religious on your blog, but the book of Proverbs told us this would happen. :)

    “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” – Proverbs 22:7

    I think about that verse all the time now because it is so simple and so true.

  4. We can all get out from under the debt. Just keep working at it. Little by little… we… are… freeeeeeeeee :)

  5. Four or five years ago, I ran up a lot of debt and had to make some huge lifestyle changes in order to start paying it off. Admitting to myself that I made this mistake was the first big realization. Forgiving myself and letting myself still enjoy my life-even as I cut back to the bone, ditched credit cards, and sold as much as possible-was the second.

    I regret messing things up so badly and there are days when I despair. But I can’t let that overwhelm me. I can arm myself by gaining perspective on debt. It is a form of bondage, and now I know how certain sectors of the credit industry do everything they can to entice us into it. I also know that there are laws being passed, legislation being formed, politicians working towards changing that. Although I feel the burn of all the money I am spending to get myself out of this hole, I can do something!

  6. All debt is bondage. In fact, it is accurate to say we are bond servants of Visa, MasterCard, Sallie Mae, etc etc etc.

    Imagine how much less you’d have to earn each month without any debt hanging over your head? Crazy.

  7. That’s a great way to look at money. Just think, to be financially free, we have to earn more than we spend. A great way to retire early is to spend less, not earn more.

  8. Debt is bondage. Bondage is constricting That’s why I call it debt shackles. Each time I look at my debt or make a stupid mistake that doesn’t reduce my debt I feel that bondage and it feels like I have shackles on and that someone has taken the key and tightened the shackles. Becoming and staying debt free will mean that the shackles have been loosened to the point where they just slide off!

Trackbacks:

  1. Weekend Roundup – I’ve had enough turkey edition | beingfrugal.net
  2. Moolanomy weekly roundup #16: “Prosper” edition | Moolanomy
  3. Sunday Money Roundup – I Cannot Believe It Is Almost 2008 Edition. | My Two Dollars
  4. All Women Blogging Carnival | All for Women
  5. Debt, Women, and Family – The Carnivals | I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…