All of the conventional personal finance gurus provide a standard list of reasons to eliminate your debt. There’s nothing really wrong with theses lists. They are usually full of some pretty good advice. However, I am going to offer some new thoughts on the benefits of eliminating your debt.
Each person has to have their reasons for eliminating debt and wanting to accumulate wealth. You have to have the why.
Having the why empowers you. It is the thing that keeps you steady when life is shaky. These aren’t always some text book answer. If reading the news has taught me anything it is that people aren’t always rational. So, the reason for people to do something can be unique. This is no different with eliminating debt. So, I give you this.
Some not-so common reasons for eliminating your debt (that you won’t hear from personal finance gurus)
- You can be like Stanley Spadowski – I hear what you’re saying. Who want’s to be like Stanley Spadowski? You remember him right? He was the janitor in the movie UHF starring Weird Al Yankovic . The movie won’t win an Oscar but I had fun watching it. Anyway, Stanley Spadowski liked being a janitor. In fact, he loved it. He even had a favorite broom. It was a prized possession. He took pride in his work. He enjoyed the work. It made him happy. In fact, even when he became an accidental TV hit, he would only accept the job if he could still be janitor. How many of you can say you love your work like that? People enjoy doing different things. If you have debt, you have financial burdens that limit your work choices. What if you want to make the doughnuts, but you have debt up to your eyeballs? Sorry. When you have debt you can’t afford to take certain jobs you might love or would give you greater peace of mind. You have to hunt down a job that will allow you to serve your debt masters.
- You can give your boss the middle finger – This is one of mine. I don’t like when people act tough act work because their business card has a fancy title. It sucks that sometimes people accept being treated like lesser beings from jerk bosses. As Huey Lewis & The News so brilliantly put it “Talking what they’re giving ’cause I’m working for a livin’”. Huey wasn’t talking about money in that line, folks. Now let’s imagine you have no debt. None. Now you find yourself in a meeting and your boss starts treating you like dirt. You can give him the middle finger and tell him that nobody talks to you that way. No taking what he is giving anymore.
- You can sit on your ass more – Hey, you might not admire this reason, but it could be somebody’s reason for eliminating debt. What do you care? It’s valid though. If you have less debt, you have less cost of living. So, if you want a simple, relaxed life featuring a lot of sitting on your ass, eliminating all of your debt will make that a more likely scenario if you so choose.
- You can be a huge failure – I failed…yay! Okay. Nobody celebrates failure. Well, modern day progressive liberals, the public school system and little league celebrate failure, but normal people don’t. (If that made you angry, good…now go get a sense of humor). Anyway, people don’t aim for failure. However, it happens sometimes. Wouldn’t it be cool if you took a shot at a new business and failed miserably…and you didn’t feel like your life was over? If you have no debt then your failures aren’t magnified by tons of debt and financial problems. They are simply failures. It stinks, but you can take your emotional lumps, learn from your mistakes, put it in perspective and move on.
Are you learning the lessons here? I hope so.
Take some time to think about what you want. Would eliminating debt make the pursuit of these things more enjoyable or less stressful? Would eliminating debt make the things that would make you happy more achievable? Would eliminating debt offer you some flexibility and more choices in life?
Find those silly reasons that make you smile or make you feel good. Find your whys. Then start eliminating your debt.