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More Debt or More Happiness?

Posted on April 10, 2008
It is so easy to get caught up in the American liethat possessing morestuff gooses up happiness. Advertising relentlessly bombardsyou with this same lie: Hey, you'renot yet satisfied. So, no matter how much we may accumulate or spend, we always crave more.
But more thingsin ofthemselves does not make a man happier (Luke 12:21). Whileit's true having a warm home, ample food, and some extras makes life easier, if debt is in the mix, thenthe morestuff becomes a living curse.
The constant craving ofpleasure fuels the temptation to nearly max out credit cards. The faulty reasoning goes like this, if my friend has the latest TV, a newer car, and latestgear for (YOUR HOBBY), why shouldn't I, too?But the real bottom line is:whyshould I want to buy a bunch of stuff I don't need, with money I don't havein order toimpress people I don't even like? (Thanks financialcounselor Dave Ramsey for saying it so well)
Did you know financial woes trigger more divorces than anything else? (Even more than sexual issues) It is because that the borrower is slave to the lender who created us) stresses to the max. (Proverbs 22:7). And slavery to anything or anyone (exceptto theOne who created us) stresses to the max.
The stress spills destructively over to all your relationships -especially to yourspouse and kids. It puts you at one another's throat.
But guess what brings the most happiness? Notmore stuff, and along with it, debt.Instead, it's relationships, relationships, relationships! Calm, loving relationships with close loved ones.

More stuff and mega-debt are short onhappiness and long on misery.
Less stuff and little debt are long onhappiness and short on misery.
A man with debt up his neck iswise to start down-sizing immediately before his miseryliterally makes him want to slit his own throat. First, sell the wheels or pad you cannot afford. Second, do whatever else it takes - to curtail debt and its choking interest rates. The only debt to have isahouse that fits one'sincome.
Here aresome ways to start controllingdebt. But beware!These suggestions are tough as nails (well,at leastfroman American viewpoint) but well worth the sacrifice.

  • An economical car
  • Eatingmostly at home-- whatever's healthy and affordable
  • Like-new clothes from second hand shops
  • Vacations within a few hours' drive during off season lower rates
  • Eliminating the smokes
Somethingthat gets people into financial difficulty is not having an emergency fund. You need about $1000 set aside for emergencies. (Ideally about 3-4 months of living expenses.)Emergencies are going to come -trust me.
Anda most effective wayto avoidgrief and stress and toembrace peace of mind is towork a simple budget between you.
One of the most freeing, liberating feelings on the planet is coming into being debt freeexcept for a modest home. It's like being on crutches for a long time, and then the feeling you have when you can walk without them.
Getting the debt monkey off your back is a man who wins.
Listen to my eight minute radio shows:
What's Measured and Monitored Grows
The Career That's Just Right for You

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