A couple weeks ago I heard a commercial on the radio. I've been listening for it again so that I figure out which car dealership it was for. It was advertising a few months of new payments on a car purchase. The kicker part for me was that they had a line in the commercial that you'd be "sticking it to the bank" by not making payments for a few months.
Man, that has just bothered me. How many people are going to listen to that and believe it? It isn't mentioned that while you aren't making payments, interest is accruing on your loan . . . your loan on a depreciating car. So, while you are "sticking it to the bank", you are causing yourself to owe more on an item that is simultaneously worth less. There is one party here that is being taking advantage of, and it is NOT the bank!
Today I was reading a parent's post about a child's homework assignment concerning writing a budget. Sadly, this is not the first post of it's kind. But the homework in question mandated that the student work out a budget with a student loan, car payment, credit card payment, and other things. There was no option for a person who has done better and paid cash for their lives.
This is the mentality that my children will grow up around. This is the mentality that I grew up around. There is this huge message that debt is normal. Why is this acceptable? Did anyone ever question where this message started from? I can guarantee you that "debt is normal" did not start with the people paying interest on the debt. The "debt is normal" message started with the institutions that profit from your debt. Why wouldn't they want people to accept debt as normalcy?
I've had this thought for awhile now, that I am going to sit down with the kids sometime soon and show them what our bills looked like 10 years ago, 5 years ago, and then today. I want to show them how to "budget" when all your money goes to just paying your bills versus how to budget with more responsible actions when debt is being paid off and sinking funds are established to pay for life - instead of credit cards.
I've written a bit about Dave Ramsey in this blog. And for those who don't know, it isn't just the man himself that I am referring to. I am referring to his way of thinking. I'm referring to actually thinking about decisions before making them. And I mean thinking about the whole picture of a decision, and not just thinking about how well the decision fits for short term.
Tonight I am thankful for a better way of thinking. I am thankful for a chance to raise my kids with a better way of thinking. I get so excited thinking of their futures! They could have lives with no debt . . . ever! I imagine them in their adulthood having so much freedom because they've never had to pay any of their hard earned money to pay someone else for having borrowed that someone else's money. They will be light years ahead of my life! That is what I want for them! I want them to have that! I don't want them to ever think that the mainstream message of debt is "normal". I want them to strive to be better than normal!