I was mocked the other day because of the fact that I “had some things paid for” for me in my younger days. Sure, that is true. I was pampered with a bit of monetary luxury for a few years between the ages of 17 and 23. I had the majority of two nice vehicles bought for me, which I tore through. I also was supported through college and even had most of my tuition paid for. Does this make me one of those people on reality TV? Did I have everything handed to me, which is why I’m doing well today?
I’ll let you come to that conclusion. Until the age of 17, I was raised by one of the cheapest dads I knew. And…. after watching him struggle with cancer in my teens and eventually die at around my 17th birthday, I think you all that are judging me can back the **** off at the fact that I had my college paid for.
Yes, I know some people had it and have it WAY worse, but why does this always have to be a war on who has it worse? Let’s all just shove it and start where we are at today. Today is life. Today is all we have. So, number one, back off people. And number two, let’s all stop judging each other. Life will hit us all in different ways AND God will bless us in different ways.
In my early twenties when I was in debt, partially from college loans and partially from a third nice car, which I financed 100% of, I was on my own without parental assistance. And I had gotten myself into $25,000 of debt. Dangit, it sucked.
Today, I’ve been out of debt for two and a half years, although I’d still be paying on my car and my student loans if I wouldn’t have decided to ATTACK my debt. Why did I do this? Well, first, because, DEBT IS HORRIBLE and IT SUCKED being in it. I was paying out $410 each month for my loans and only bringing in $2,000. Let’s do the math here. Over 20% of my take home pay was GONE before I even got it.
And before I stopped my idiocy, I was even doing dumb things like opening a new Target credit card to buy a TV and putting a $1,500 computer onto my U.S. Bank credit card. Yes, I actually did that, and both of those within 2 months of each other. So, let’s just say that I had an average credit card bill of $400 or more each month as well, which is debt too.
Debt…. it’s…. um…. SOMETHING YOU NEED TO ATTACK. It’s not okay to be in it. Yes, I know, you may not have “had it easy” like I did. My gosh, get over it. Why are people mad at me for being out of debt? I got myself out. I could have done it the other way and spent myself into oblivion. And if I did, I would be more accepted in society, apparently. People would say, gosh, I feel sorry for that Kraig. He lost his dad as a teenager and now he’s just got a rough life. Poor him.
But, since I pulled my head out in my early twenties, stopped spending like I was in congress, and got the hell out of debt, there’s a change of mindset. I’m now the guy who had it easy. After all, I must have, if I am doing well financially today. I must be cheating the system.
The truth is, I’m not cheating. I’m a person who earns a regular income. Here’s the unique way I’ve decided to live: I spend less than I make. Crazy idea, I know. Oh, and the reason I’m able to spend less than I make and for that matter save and invest money to change my future, is because I ATTACKED my debt when I had it.
I cut cable, I stopped going out to eat, I said no to friends and family, I sat home on weekends, I had boring summers and I held on to my crappy, hand-me-down furniture. I have lived what most call a “boring life“. I sacrificed and I went crazy because I wanted to get out of debt more than anything in my life. It was my SINGLE most important goal at the time. Sometimes, you need to focus and get so mad at something (a good kind of mad), that you will do everything in your power to get out of that mess. I did that with my debt and that’s why I’m out.
Having things given to you is rarely a good thing for you. That’s not why I’m out of debt. Oh, and by the way, on my college expenses, I lived at home for my first two years and went to a community college. Don’t tell me that I’m where I am financially because of hand outs. Just don’t do it. And I won’t judge you either. We should be helping each other, not bringing each other down.