Here in America, we are encouraged to take out credit cards, loans, and mortgages regularly. Debt is the norm and 80% of Americans have it. The average household debt is $130,922. Approximately 70% of all cars are purchased with a loan. The overwhelming majority of homeowners have a mortgage. Despite all of these horrifying statistics, we continue to be hounded to buy more. According to a Yankelovich study, the average American is exposed to over 300 ads per day. We are bombarded with pressure to buy things everywhere - billboards, magazines, tv, radio, mail, by phone, and even at your front door. Companies are not shy to ask, and even demand, your business.
Companies may not be shy, but many of us are embarrassed and ashamed to discuss our financial woes. Many of us feel isolated and alone in our sea of debt, and we desperately try to keep up the appearance that everything is ok. Debt, in so many ways, allows us to keep up the illusion that we own a nice home, drive a great car, and can afford our daily Starbucks. No one ever has to know that everything has a monthly payment attached.
So, what's the big deal? Can't we all just get along with a little debt?
Many Americans do live with substantial debt successfully, for awhile. The problem with debt is that it requires mercilessly consistent payments. Get sick? Too bad. Your car payment won't wait. Getting married? Nope, you're not getting a break. Experience a major loss? Your mortgage won't be showing you any sympathy. Debt ensures that the endless working machine runs smoothly and keeps you showing up every day. The myth is that slavery was abolished in America. The difference today is we have the choice to become enslaved, or opt out.
If you are one of the many Americans who are feeling weighed down by the heavy burden of debt, rest assured there is hope! It does take some work and dedication, but financial freedom is real! Taking steps toward freedom starts with education and writing a personalized financial plan. Hiring a coach and taking workshop courses can be beneficial in this process, no matter how deep you feel your financial hole is. I myself (Jill Landis) was in $30,000 dollars worth of debt, aside from my mortgage, when I started this process. I felt overwhelmed and hopeless. Once a educated myself and put together a plan, I felt hopeful and inspired. It took me three years to become debt-free, minus the mortgage. I am now steadily chipping away at that. There is hope for everyone, regardless of the circumstances!
The benefits of living a debt-free life are endless. When an individual operates from a place of financial health, relationships improve, emotional security increases, and most importantly, personal freedom expands. From a place of financial freedom, a person is free to dream bigger than their 9 to 5. Perhaps you'd like to start a business. Rid yourself of the unease that comes with a heavy burden of debt. Are finances a topic of tension in your marriage? Get your financial future in order and watch how the peace and security in your relationship blossoms. There is nothing like the sweet taste of independence and freedom that comes from owing no one anything.
How are you building your financial freedom? Do you have unaddressed debt that consistently drains your energy and attention? Do you have a financial plan for your future? How are you managing the resources that the universe has entrusted you with?
Tell me all about it! I'd love to hear about your successes and challenges!