There is a lot of financial advice in the world that can be overwhelming and difficult to apply to your situation. It is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re buried under debt and obligations that feel like you cannot breathe. It is also hard to make some of the choices necessary to keep focused on paying down that debt when other opportunities seem to come up. I consider it similar to dieting and achieving good health. If it were easy we wouldn’t have the obesity problem we do in this country. We also wouldn’t have people buried under debt from health needs and emotional circumstances. We wouldn’t have the debt crisis we see in our nation today.
I don’t think socialism is the answer to these problems. Giving up our freedom to have someone else make choices that are right for a common good doesn’t feel right to me. What if you are not common? What if you want or need something different? What if you like living your own life without being questioned about it? There maybe isn’t one good answer that fits everyone or every situation. We are all different and have different needs in our life. I think that’s the point where we lose the ability to say socialism is the right answer for our country. Regardless of your political party perspective I think these larger questions are something all of us need to sit deeply with and determine if long term that really is the right answer or if we’re just caught up in emotion. Seeking temporary relief sometimes drives us to consequences we cannot undo later.
That’s the funny thing about debt and money is it’s interlocking relationship to our emotions. We sometimes struggle with balancing the emotional aspects of a purchase that leads to debt with the rational side of ourselves that says there might be a different way. Then when we are in debt we are emotionally drained from the burden of how we overcome that circumstance. A circumstance of our own making but at that point we are desperate for relief and willing to forego more of our freedom to get it. The problem though started well before that debt. It started when we signed away our freedom to take on that debt at the beginning.
As I hear the news of all the people talking about their student debts I have to wonder where it all stems from. Are we not teaching our children about money decisions or are you not giving them solid examples? Are we giving them bad advice because we also struggle with making those same decisions? Maybe these are truly extraordinary circumstances but that can’t be true for everyone. In my own opinion this seems to be a root problem of us not living in alignment with nature and instead following society should, must and have to pressures. It is also indicative of our own unwillingness or admission that we were irresponsible.
Yes that made me gulp deep too.
We are all guilty of following what’s popular or what people think we should be doing. Going to great schools, getting married, having kids, and on and on. We all want to fit in and not be seen as the weird person who is different. Yet the ramifications are we are going into debt we cannot be responsible for and more importantly we are silencing who we are inside. We are missing out evolving and being us in own uniqueness and beauty on top of living in a way that is unnatural. Sometimes we have to make different choices in what is right for us and that means changing our college plans or the type and size of our home or what type of car we buy. That decision is monetary as much as it is emotional but the thing that ties emotions and money together is listening to what is right for us not someone else. It directly means forgetting what people may think and buying an off-label item that is affordable in our budget. I believe doing anything else robs us of our joy in life and leaves us with regrets in the long run. I believe joy is best experienced and found when we live in natural alignment to our true selves and needs.
Here’s my truth when it comes to debt. It may not be what is right for you but I ask you to consider this for a moment. What if instead of listening to what we should do and how we should live we made that decision based on what is right for us individually? When my son who is now 8 comes home and asks for Air Pods, a cell phone and some other cool trendy toy the boy down the street has I ask him this question. “Are you really wanting that because you love it, need it or because someone else has it?”
This past summer he wanted a hover board. He wanted one so badly it was all he talked about for weeks. The boy down the street had gotten one for his birthday and it was all our son could see as what he needed too. Finally given the cost was over $200 we told him to save his own money for it because it wasn’t something we could afford or felt would be a good use of money. He saved birthday money, asked for jobs to earn money and all else and he did save over $200. We asked him at that point if he still wanted a hover board and he said no. More than 6 months after Christmas that money is still in an envelope and he asked me recently to cross off hover board from the envelop and just have it say “money.” He has no plans right now for what he’d like but it’s not a hover board anymore.
That’s the thing with big and small purchases. We get so wrapped up in the now and the glitter of it that we forget to think if it’s right for us. We think we need it because everyone is getting one. We think we need to go to a top rated school even though most jobs just care that you have a degree and not where it came from. The end result is the amount of debt you’re willing to take on for a salary that will be about the same long term as if you went to a school that didn’t cost so much or that it took you longer to complete while you worked to pay for it. I get that it’s a hard pill to swallow. I get it means saying no and being different. I also get that it means being true to what is right in your life and accepting responsibility for the choices and consequences of those decisions. The more aligned those decisions are to our true self the easier that responsibility feels, even the debt.
Are you are listening to your own gut and instinct in your financial choices? Are you living your own truth and doing what it is right for you? That could very well look like you are foregoing things now to repay debt so you can be free in life. I can think of nothing else as valuable as our freedom when it comes to things we can purchase or choices we can make in our life. Freedom doesn’t come when we give it away for relief of something we no longer want to deal with, like debt.
Living natural when it comes to money means listening to our own voice and heart. Making choices that are our own and living in peace with what that means. It is being responsible in honoring our debts and using money in a way that promotes what we truly want and need in our life. More money never made anyone more happy, fulfilled or complete. Give yourself a life you are proud of and that makes you happy. Status goes away when something else trendy comes on the scene. Degrees go in the bottom of drawers and are replaced with pictures of memories, loved ones and things that matter in life.
Living in what is true and right for you means sticking with the debt you’re in now and seeing it through and making responsible choices upfront before taking it on. Using that experience to grow in what it is you want in your life and working non-stop until you get there. Also, it is realizing that letting someone bail you out doesn’t give us that same satisfaction as burning the paper from the original loan on your student debt or mortgage or car lien when you’ve made that last payment. It is experiencing true freedom in your finances that empower you to live naturally on your terms.
Living naturally on your terms is real freedom. Learn more by following Dragonspit Apothecary on social media or on our blog. https://www.dragonspitapothecary.com/live