If you’re a regular visitor to LifeAndMyFinances.com (thanks and welcome back!), then you know that there’s plenty of practical, down-to-earth advice here on how to become — and stay — debt free.
However, sometimes in life, it’s more memorable (and also more entertaining) to look at things from the other end of the spectrum — i.e. what NOT to do.
For example, some diet and wellness experts highlight ways that people can add pounds and ruin their health as a kind of scare tactic. The same goes for law enforcement organizations when they want to get people to wear their seatbelt, stop drinking and driving, and so on. Stories and photos of smiling, safe drivers is kind of forgettable. Stories and photos of drivers laid out on a morgue slab is striking.
5 Ways to Stay Stuck in Debt Forever
Well, today I thought it would be illuminating to borrow a page from this anti-messaging playbook, and reveal 5 ways that you or someone you care about can stay stuck in debt forever (if this is too harrowing to contemplate, then imagine that you’re an author or screenwriter who needs to create a character that is pathologically addicted to debt, and are looking for some habits and details to make things more realistic).
Ready? Here we go:
1) Pay the minimum balance due on your credit card bills
Without question, the surest way to spend the rest of your life in debt is to zoom in on the “minimum balance due” line of your credit card statements, and then obey that horrible recommendation.
2) Forget that interest is paid in after-tax dollars
Let’s say you pay $200 in interest each month across all of your credit cards. If you’re in a 25% tax bracket (which is probably on the low side depending on your jurisdiction), you need to earn $250 in income to cover that cost. Of course, we’re talking about staying in debt here forever, so pretend you didn’t read this. Nothing to see here. Move along.
3) Hang out with people who have no financial discipline
Sometimes there’s no strength in numbers, but there is comfort. Debt-ridden birds of a feather flock together. Mock and undermine anyone who thinks twice about dropping $7 on the latest diabetes-chino from Starbucks (make it a venti!).
4) Don’t bother with a budget
Budget? Who needs a budget? As soon as your Powerball numbers come in, you’ll buy a company that creates budgeting software. That would be ironic (doncha think?).
5) Take out pay day loans
Instead of taking out an unsecured (as in your don’t need collateral) loan from a firm like National Business Capital (learn more about them here: NationalBusinessCapital.com), keep taking pay day loans and pay punitive interest. Who knows? If you keep it up, maybe your great grand children will be able to pay off your debt. Hey, a legacy is a legacy, right?
The Bottom Line
OK, we’ve made it to the end, so sarcasm off. Obviously, neither I nor anyone who cares about you wants you to follow ANY of the advice above. For most people, debt is a part of life. But it doesn’t have to be a lingering, chronic weight on your shoulders — or your finances.
Ready for something more inspiring? Check out how you could earn hundreds or even thousands a month with your own blog — here’s the evidence.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.