In a 2015 economic study, researchers found that eight out of ten American are in astronomical amounts of debt. Today, statistics showed that these numbers have only varied slightly, if at all, as the average American household is over eight-thousand dollars in debt. Financial debt is a cancer that is plaguing every part of our country from college students working to pay of tens of thousands of dollars worth of student loans, to hard-working businessman working a dreary nine-to-five just to pay off the house mortgage and put gas in the cars.
The reason for this ridiculous amount of nation-wide debt is simple: we have no idea how to save and are really good at spending. We come by it honestly – I mean, have you heard how much debt that our government is in currently? Something to the tune of nineteen trillion dollars. Based on that statistic, I would say that it is no wonder Americans are having such heavy financial struggles! Perhaps the worst part about this whole collaborative debt-mess is that the majority of Americans not only expect to accrue debt, but they’ve settled with that reality as fact, chosen to accept it as a part of life, and are making no conscious efforts to avoid it!
The good news, however, is that living with financial debt is not a requirement, nor should it be something to settle with. There are several steps that you can take today to begin paying off your debt and walking in financial freedom. Dave Ramsey, American businessman, author, and motivational speaker who specializes in finance, created something called the “debt snowball” to teach Americans how to get rid of their debt entirely. This method has been proven to increase the user’s internal motivation to get out of debt fully.
On first impression, this concept of the “debt snowball” may sound intimidating – after all, you don’t want your debt to snowball out of control… it’s already out of control! This method, contrary to its intimidating title, is built to keep you motivated as you pay off your debt with one simple trick: you must pay off the smallest debt first and work your way up to the largest. More information about this concept can be found on Dave’s website, but to put it simply, the steps to financial freedom are creating and maintaining a strict personal budget, putting money towards paying off those debts every single month, and starting with the smallest one first.
There is no such thing as a manageable amount of debt. If you are making the choice to settle with a certain amount of debt and live with the consequences, you are choosing to live in financial bondage for the rest of your life. When you make that choice, everything you do is dictated by someone else because, until they get their money, you belong to them. However, when you choose to work hard to pay off the debts that you owe, the joy that you will experience in the end will be so sweet as you put the life of debt behind you and walk in financial freedom!