Just Get Rid of the Debt Already…

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I know of so many people that refuse to tackle their student loan debt because they don’t feel that it’s their responsibility to do so. Some of the reasons, include:

  1. “I never got to work in the field that I studied so why should I pay back the debt?” (you and 70% of the population…welcome to LIFE)
  2. “They should have never lent me that much money. Nobody told me it would be this hard. So why should I pay it back?” (you are an adult so start acting like one)
  3. “I’ll just earn the bare minimum so the government can pay for my interest while I reduce my principal.” (so you’re going to let student loans dictate your career plans as well…)
  4. “I’ll just wait 6 or 7 years then apply for bankruptcy.” (bankruptcy is not your answer, work is)

drawning

I know I am coming off as snarky but it bugs me when capable, able people are not taking responsibility for their own past decisions. When did our society become so entitled? Having a lot of student debt can make you feel like you are drowning and hoping for a rescue boat to come and save you. Unfortunately, you may be waiting for a long time, or die before then. You need to rescue yourself. I will admit that our school system & societal upbringing does a terrible job at teaching the youth about personal finance (managing their money well) and in preparing kids for the cost of university/college and how to manage their freedom and loans responsibly. The majority of people (including myself) start their post-secondary education with little to no skills of managing money well and end up graduating in a financial mess. Indebted and full of bloated expectation of what the job market has to offer, just to be given a rude awaking at times when they make their first “real job” pay. This may not be the case for some, but I am sure it is a very real reality for most millennials.

Ok. So you made some stupid mistakes with money in the past. Who hasn’t? Congratulations, you’re human. But the real question is what are you going to do about it now? Are you going to stick to the principle of the matter and commit to doing one of the 4 things listed above? Or are you going to take responsibility for the mess that YOU created and start cleaning it up? You can blame the government, the school system, your parents, your loved one etc., but it won’t change a thing.

Would I have done things differently back then with the information that I know now about money. Double Yes. But this experience has taught me so much more and now I can pass it on to my kids and hopefully they can pass it on to theirs. Repayment assistance and interest relief on student loans can be a great help when used sparingly, but some people can use these options as a crush to avoid dealing with their massive debt. Ignoring the problem will not fix it, and hoping the government will take care of you won’t either.

Get a second job, move back into your parent’s basement if you have to, and DON’T “live like a student” because many post-secondary students have a lot more disposable income from loans than they know what to do with. Instead, live like a responsible adult that is trying to get out of debt.

I end with this. If you managed your money responsibly throughout your life and graduated with no debt (student loan and other debts), then good for you. You are a rarity and your prudence will take you far in life. But for the rest of us (including myself), it’s time to buckle down and get serious about our money.

For 2016 I plan on sharing my financial savings goals for this year on my blog and tracking my progress online. Now that I am debt free, I plan on increasing my savings substantially.

Categories: Debt

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20 replies

  1. Great post! I do unfortunately know way too many people living way beyond their means, carrying student (and consumer debt) and/or relying on bankruptcy as their “solution” (ack!!!!!!) Our debt isn’t technically “student debt” but it is the debt that accrued over the 1.5 years I had quit work to go back to school full time. I don’t think we’ll be able to start debt repayment on my husband’s salary alone (i.e. Until I start work in 2 weeks) but I seriously can’t wait to start seeing some progress!

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  2. This isn’t snarky at all. People don’t think this way and they should. We have a flagrant overspending problem in this country and it isn’t just a Millennial problem. These loans will bankrupt us financially and more if we don’t destroy them ourselves. Great post – at the moment I pay between 4 and 5 grand per month to get rid of my loans.

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  3. If you are a parent start talking to your kids about debt. They see us whip out the plastic to pay for everything without a thought of how we really pay for it. My kids are 15 and 12 and already understand interest, loans and living within your means.

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    • So true. I interact with kids in my job and at my church and they are so receptive about things. They love learning about money and how to use it. What better person to teach them then parents. TFS.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is so important! It’s funny, though. My dad taught all 4 children about debt, interest, saving and investing but only I soaked it in. At 25, I’ve traveled to over 15 countries, paid off student debts, and bought my first home- all with an entry-level salary. Hoping your kids soak in all the information and apply it.

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      • Wow that is amazing. Managing money well at an early age can make a world of difference. I want to teach that to my kids so they have the option to travel the world or do what they like without debt weighing them dad. Congratulations on all of your success. That is impressive.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great points. Now substitute the word HEALTH for FINANCIAL followed by the word responsibility and see if you stand just as committed to this aspect of life? Believe it or not, taking responsibility for one’s health REDUCES financial obligations in the big picture. In general, we need to take greater responsibility for our lives by using our cognitive skills ahead of our emotional wants to guide us down a path of BALANCED living. This is a major key to achieving financial, physical and emotional (GOOD) HEALTH.

    Just wanted to share your concept and show how important it is to overall living.

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    • This is so true. I found that when I turned 30 , it was really hard for me to get motivated about working out, especially in the winter. I try to and I am getting better at it (its part of my 2016 goals), but I can definitely make a better effort.
      Thanks for sharing that. Most of us tend to overlook the health part the older we get; until we have to address it head on with a medical issue or illness. I need to be more consistent in this area of my life for sure.

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  5. As the parent of a university student and as a taxpayer, I would like to add my resounding “YES” to your thoughts. But for other parents, particularly parents of future university students, I’ll add a loud, “WAKE UP” and encourage you to not only teach your children to handle money wisely but also to set an example of good stewardship, perhaps by making the necessary sacrifices to start a college fund for your child(ren).

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    • Thank you, thank you for sharing that with everyone.
      My husband and I plan on using our UCCB payments that we would receive for each child (that every Canadian taxpayer receives regardless of income) to begin funding and investing our children’s education fund (when we have kids). That, coupled with what the government adds on top of that should be a good start. We plan on putting the funds in more aggressive investments when they are younger, and slowly transferring the funds to conservative investments as they approach post-secondary and need the money for school. When our incomes grow we plan on adding to these funds, but if invested properly and early enough, it can go a long way.
      My parents did provide for my financial needs however. The debt was all ME….I was dumb about money; with a capital “D”

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  6. Reblogged this on How to $tuff Your Pig and commented:
    Still making excuses for why you can’t pay off your student loan debt? Think it’s impossible to achieve? Pamela from “My Money Counts” paid off a WHOPPING $120,000 worth of debt with $64,000 coming from student loans. Pamela tells it like it is in her post “Just Get Rid of the Debt Already…” and explains why it’s time for you to take responsibility.

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