Planning to be in Debt

Robert I. Winwood


“This isn’t what I had planned.”


Ever said that? Ever heard a friend say it? I’m not a saving money expert, but I have learned one thing: that sentence is not true.


Our family chose to be in debt.  We decided to spend more money than we actually had.  And we opted to deal with things later instead of as they occurred.


Why would we choose that?


The truth is, we didn’t realize that’s what we were choosing.  If asked, we would have said, “We don’t have a choice.”  We thought all the events in our lives were happening “to” us.  But these were the things we were choosing:


We chose to be lazy.

  • Who wants to plan out meals for the whole week when Chicken Express is right across the street?
  • It takes too long to make a budget EVERY MONTH.
  • That light will go off in the car if I just ignore it long enough…

You know who didn’t choose to be lazy? The credit card companies.


We chose “now” instead of “later.”

  • Waiting until you have the money? That could be months!
  • We can charge it now and worry about it later.
  • Sure, we could have something really nice later.  But, we’ll settle for “just ok” now.

You know who didn’t choose “now”?  The furniture store that was marketing their “marked down” sofas…


We chose “easy” over “hard.”

  • Sacrifice is hard.
  • Self-control is hard.
  • Looking ahead is hard.

Doing what is easy and fun now means not dealing with all of the “hard” stuff – until the bill comes due.

You know who didn’t choose “easy”?  Apple, producing and marketing the latest iPhone…


They say wisdom is knowing what the right thing is and choosing to do it.  I think another word for that is “adult.”  Unfortunately, too many of today’s “adults” just aren’t.  We put things off to deal with “later.”  “Later” often means “more expensive” as well, and that’s a huge consequence for a very short-term gain.


Today, our family is choosing a different lifestyle. A different mindset.


And a different outcome.


What choices have you made that landed you where you are? Is that a good thing, or a bad one?

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2 Responses to “Planning to be in Debt”

  1. Amy says:

    I *think* (not sure on this) Dave Ramsey recommends saving for your own retirement before saving for kids' college. But you might want to check that. Saving for retirement is hugely important to me. My Social Security statement keeps telling me I"m going to have to work until I'm 97 1/2 and I think I'd like to retire before that.

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