Monday, May 30, 2011

What's Your Excuse?

We have debt. A lot of it. By any one's standards.

Unless you're the type who thinks that consumer debt is 'normal' and everyone has it.

I personally know people who have no debt, other than their mortgage.

I know someone who has no debt whatsoever. (Hi Rick!)

I recently read a post on a personal blog about a couple's debt, and a husband's determination to get out from under it. Yet they spend extravagant amounts of money on things that they don't really need. The wife wants nothing to do with the finances, and the hubby is going crazy trying to figure it all out. Yet they have a tonne of excuses.

Actual quote (as a response to a comment): "...I would never spend that much on a (thing)'s the 100 here  the 100 there that get me..."

I remember ages ago when I too used to think like that. How could I possibly live without the $1000 + and utilities type dwelling we lived in? I couldn't say no to hubby when he 'needed' to go golfing to 'relax' and have time to himself. We 'deserved' to eat out 5 nights a week, because our schedules were so crazy.

At one time, I actually thought that no one could understand the budgeting difficulties that we had, trying to budget for an entire year at a time. Business and personal expenses combined. With a highly variable income.

Over the last 3 years of our journey together, I have learned so much. About myself, about my partner, about financial matters. My excuses became just that. Excuses.

No one really wants to downgrade their lifestyle. No one really wants to feel deprived, or have to go without to pay for the mistakes of their past. But that is what becoming a mature adult is about. Accepting responsibility for your own choices, regardless of the circumstances. And then doing something about it.

I still have excuses  reasons as to why we are not out of debt yet, but I can say with pride, that we are working toward a life of freedom from debt.

Just not by buying $300 Coach purses or Juicy Couture as part of my daily wardrobe.


  1. I believe all those in debt have at one time or another made excuses for why we are there. But it's those that realize this that actually change. Good for you for working to get rid of day at a time, one dollar at a time. You can do it!!!

  2. I agree with you 100% If I wasn't putting as much money into my student debt as I am my min payments from Sept 2010-feb 2011 would have been $150 a month(TD LOC only) and than from feb 2011-sept 2011 it would have been $270 (OSAP and LoC) But that also would have ment spending the next 10 years of my life with this handing over my head... some are ok with it! But not me and I am so glad that I am NOT ok with it! Excuses are just that EXCUSES!!!

  3. Yes we all have excuses, Some of them are good excuses. Death of a child, unemployment, illness, medical bills. But most of us have just spent more than we earned on stuff we did not have to have. I know I still struggle, but eventually I will be out of debt it gets closer and closer every month. You can do it too!

  4. Haha I love that blog.. In like a sad twisted it makes me want to bang my head against the wall sort of way.

    I think we all make excuses or rationalizations. Some are greater than others. I have a five-figure student loan balance back home in Canada and yet I'm typing this from a cafe in France. Anyone can say (and absolutely justify) why I should have put the money towards my student debt, but I'll always feel the trip was a better use of that money.

    I think one of the reasons it's easy to make excuses is it just seems like there is soooo much time to pay it off.

  5. Yep, excuses are the mantra of those deeply in debt. I have some pretty good ones. Two kids with special needs - one with a life-threatening illness. Humongous medical bills, low income ... blah, blah, blah. But even I can't explain away the numbers we are looking at now as not our fault. Thank heavens we finally had an aha moment and are finally heading in the right direction. It's going to take what seems like forever, but I'm thankful I have my PF friends to take the journey with me!


  6. Right now I have the most debt I've ever had in my life. I also have the highest income I've ever had in my life. The good news is that I'm on target to be debt free in 3 years. We live on less than 1/3 of my income and the rest goes to savings and debt reduction. The key is having a plan!!