Debt. We all have it (ok, most of us have it). We all loathe it. That's why we read one another's PF blogs. To keep one another motivated to get rid of it once and for all. To learn to live within our means. To appreciate what we do have and keep one another accountable for our actions. It's what we do.
A debt is an obligation owed by one party to a second party but the term can also be used metaphorically to cover moral obligations. (from Wikipedia)
Debt is a means of using anticipated future purchasing power in the present before it has actually been earned. It is spending of funds we have not yet worked for.
When we use debt (a credit card for example) most folks think of it as a source of income. "I have $500 on this credit card that I can use to buy that thing-a-ma-jigger that I have been dying to get." But the truth is that the $500 credit limit is actually a loan, or a debt. It is a company saying that they will let you spend their money, at a cost.
I was reading another blog the other day and something struck a chord with me. $12 a day AND a baby on the way had posted about one of the many things she is eliminating from her life in order to achieve debt freedom and financial independence. In a bold blue, she wrote " If I owe someone anything at all, then until it's been paid back, my money isn't really my money ."
How true is that in our lives?
The level of my debt means that all the money I earn in the next two years effectively does not belong to me. It belongs to others who have extended credit or to whom I owe a moral obligation to repay. Two years. That stinks!
We have been downsizing our lifestyle and pinching pennies for so long, that I feel we have actually amended some of our bad habits of the past. We no longer frequent Tim Horton's, but with Candy Cane hot chocolate coming soon, that may change for a brief time. We no longer spend gobs of money on clothing, shoes, toys and other non-essentials. I, in particular, have learned new cooking and baking skills, learned to stockpile items on sale from the grocery store, taken on extra work whenever possible, and tried to be content with what we already have.
I hope that this is now the new 'normal' for us.