The last quarterly gauge of 2016 that looked at household debt saw a near record level. Household debt stood at $12.58 trillion dollars. Debt was up $460 billion year over year and is now just 0.8% off the all time high that was reached just before the Great Recession hit, $12.68 trillion. Mortgage debt was the largest piece of the pie at $8.48 trillion followed by student loan debt at $1.31 trillion and auto loan debt at $1.16 trillion. I know that I’ve beat this drum over and over again but we are a nation and a people with way too much debt.
The biggest key to financial success is having zero debt. You want and need compound interest to work in your favor. You don’t want to be constantly fighting the rising tide of compound interest when it is working against you. Also, these numbers who why you hear stories on the news about a retirement savings crisis or home ownership on the decline because young people are strapped with too much student loan debt. These types of stories run weekly but they don’t have too. We can fix these issues if we only turned off the consumerist spigot and call debt what it is, a tremendous burden on your future financial success.
Simply put, we can do better than this. Debt is not the answer to any of your financial problems. Mortgaging our children’s and grandchildren’s futures for current gratification shouldn’t happen, period. When as a people will we stand up and say enough is enough. We choosing to live strapped to a ball and chain instead of being free with a legacy to leave for a better tomorrow. If you don’t feel debt is bad go ahead and read Proverbs 22:7.
Just because debt is common practice and normal in our nation doesn’t mean you have to be normal. You don’t have to follow the crowd off the cliff to financial ruin. Use 2017 as the year you remodeled your financial house. Create a budget, start paying off your debt, begin saving for retirement, set up your children for success by saving for their college education. Whatever it is, there is no better time to start than today. You have to take the first step though and it isn’t easy. I never said it would be but it is absolutely worth it. After all, it might not change just your life but the lives of generations to come. There is no better time to start than now.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22 (WEB)