Why Do You Hate Debt?

A couple weeks ago I asked Twitter followers a question that generated quite a few responses:  “Why do you hate debt, in five words or less?”  Five words was probably too strict, but I had some great responses.  I’ve shared a few of my favorites below.  Feel free to add yours in the comments, and this time it doesn’t have to be limited to five words.  Thanks to all those who participated.

Why do you hate debt?

“It robs my children.” by DoodlesPlace

“Debt turns working into bondage.” by Heather

“It’s like being in prison.”  by uneekdolldesign

“Debt fuels anxiety; strangles.”   by Momsatwork

“It weighs down your potential.” by bargainr

“Limits freedom, binds to past.” by NCN

“It limits our possible futures.” by Mrs. Micah

“Debt makes everything harder.” by thewriterscoin

“Debt = An immortal money-sucking leech” by prosperousfool

“Debt delays one’s financial freedom.” by LazyManAndMoney

“Anchor weighing you down.” by glblguy

“Debt harbors dependence upon others.” by jakematic

“Debt makes your decisions.” by TheHappyRock

“Takes the freedom outta life!” by by dreamingescape

“Compound interest works against you.” by ericabiz

“Debt kills your dreams.” by Green_Panda

Comments

  1. my favorite is:
    “Compound interest works against you”

    While I did tweet a response I don’t actually hate debt. Some debts are good. Most of the responses above and likely what I would expect in the comments will be about people who cannot control the debt in their lives.

    If you can’t control your debt, you likely do hate it.

  2. Great quotes, thanks for posting these. Although debt is sometimes helpful, it always comes with a cost. I don’t think that it is accurate to talk about “good debt” and “bad debt”. I prefer “bad debt” and “less bad debt”.

  3. I would agree with the weakonomist. I don’t hate debt either. I still enjoy the things that I’ve purchased with that debt and am working to pay it off at extremely low or 0% rates.

    The only thing I don’t like about it is that it prevents me from building the savings account and investments as I would like, but I got a late start on that stuff anyway when I finally woke up to frugality a few years ago. It’s all my fault, so I’ll make up for it once the debt is gone. :-)

  4. With debt, you wind up working for your creditors instead of for yourself and your family.

    It limits your options because it raises your monthly overhead. One brief interruption of income and a person with a lot of debt is financially doomed.

  5. I hate debt for many of the above reasons, but most of all I hate it because it just feels more and more dirty to me the more I think about it. When the bible describes sin in terms of a “debt” to be repaid, it makes me think, WOW, God really knows how to hit the nail on the head there. Thank goodness for HIS providence and sovereignty in our lives!

  6. Hi Frugal Dad,

    Thanks for posting these! Looking at the answers, most people went from an emotional standpoint rather than a purely financial one (as I did.) I wonder of the emotional “high” of those purchases was enough to offset the later guilty/”bondage” feeling most describe? In most cases, I’d bet not…

    -Erica

  7. Here are a few comments I’ll make from reading these here. Keep in mind that these are MY OPINIONS and I am not personally attacking anyone here.

    1) I believe that there is such a thing as good debt. My house mortgage is one of them. I’d rather not struggle for 20 years while renting (or living with family) to save enough to buy a home for myself and my family. This IS the way it was done in the “old days” and I am glad I have not had to do that myself. Add the fact that my home is an appreciating asset and I think it all works out to be a “good debt”.

    2) To those who say “it is a prison” and “it can lock you down” it does sound like you have TOO MUCH DEBT. There is a huge difference between manageable debt and unmanageable debt. If your debt is out of control, yes, it can be a bad thing. On the other hand, if I financed my living room furniture on a 0% loan for 12 months and pay it off in 6 or 8 so I can maintain higher liquidity levels, then is that a BAD thing? That debt is manageable, so I don’t see it as being locked down.

    3) Unfortunately, saving hard for the future works out to be the same thing as debt FOR THE SHORT TERM. Your funds are still locked up waiting for retirement. You cannot spend more than X because the rest MUST be invested if you hope to retire at some point. You are still working your current crappy job because otherwise, you won’t have a dime to your name when you retire. You don’t have many choices even if you have a huge 401K plan, because you have to save that money for later in life. Your current life must be paid for at the same time. My brother is a perfect example of this in action. Sure, he has a huge savings account but he still works 50-70 hour weeks and doesn’t buy anything for his two kids because he’s scared of not having any money in his future. Is that better than the father who spends some of his money for a better life now and will sacrifice some comfort in his later years when his wife and kids are not affected so much? I leave that up to you to decide.

  8. Yes, there is definitely good kinds of debt. Once we’ve paid off our interest-bearing debt, we’re going to start saving and eventually apply for a business loan, so Tim can give his dream a shot. (He wants to open a card shop, and I’d rather do it before we’re trying to juggle a mortgage.)

    I was a landlord at age 22, kept with it for three years until health problems forced me to sell. But in that time, I had a place to live for about $600 a month, and my $32,000 initial investment came away as bout $50,000 after agent fees, etc. (Most of that went to paying student loans, which were the original intended use of the $32k.)

    But debt definitely can lead to stress and anxiety. I feel helpless when we’re in debt, mainly because we can’t always reliably work, thanks to health conditions. So our ability to pay down debt is a lot smaller than a two-income household.

    I guess, in the end, I don’t like debt because it keeps me from saving and being proactive. Instead I have to clean up after past bills and other costs of living. I prefer to be proactive, not retroactive.

  9. Debt is a tool.

    Remember, not all debt is bad debt. When used properly it can provide leverage and fiscal ability you may not have had to make investments in yourself or your standing. Obviously, debt can work against you if you don’t use it properly. Used properly it is a great tool, use it unwisely and you will be ruined eventually.

    Student loans at good rates -> increased earning potential job security -> good debt

    Mortgage -> fixed living expenses and path towards owning your own home outright, no landlord, etc -> good debt

    Consumer debt to purchase latest fad -> money out window -> bad debt

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