As we all know, debt can be a major burden on our lives. It can affect us physically and mentally, as well as financially. Debt is especially burdensome for those who carry it from one generation to another. In this article, we will discuss why generational debt is such an issue and how you can eliminate it from your life.
The Bigger Picture
Debt is bad—no, let’s be more specific: debt is not good. Debt is a burden on the future, and it places an even greater burden on the next generation.
A recent study found that millennials are delaying starting families because they’re afraid of taking on debt. The same study also revealed that nearly two-thirds of millennials are saving less than they’d like to because they’re worried about their debt levels. It’s no secret that when people struggle with paying off their student loans and credit cards, their lives become consumed by money issues. And this isn’t just damaging for millennials themselves—it’s also damaging for society at large.
The Real Costs of Debt
Before you can begin to eliminate debt, it’s important to identify what kind of debt you have and where it comes from. There are many different kinds of debt, including student loans, mortgages and credit card debt.
Each type of debt has its own characteristics that make it unique from the others. For example:
- Student loans typically don’t come with interest rates (although there are some exceptions) but require monthly payments until the balance is paid off in full—and usually for a long time after graduation (upwards of 20 years).
- Mortgages typically have low initial interest rates but often include balloon payments toward the end that increase interest costs significantly over time (sometimes as much as 50%!).
- Credit card balances should never exceed 30% or so of your annual income because if they do, then paying them off will likely take years—if not decades!
Why Don’t People Eliminate Debt?
Debt is a major issue among Canadians. In fact, the average household carries nearly $20,000 in credit card debt alone. Because of this, it’s important to understand the reasons why people get into debt and why they stay there.
First, debt is easy to get into. You can see it if you look at your monthly bank statement or go through your checkbook; however, most people don’t look at these things regularly because they don’t want to face their financial reality. Instead of seeing their money going out as quickly as it comes in (which should be alarming), most people act as though they have more money than they actually do—even though they really don’t! This leads us into our second point:
Second, staying out of debt isn’t always easy because society tells us that we need more than we have; thus, it becomes easier for us to spend than save our money for an uncertain future. Of course there are some benefits associated with having more stuff around us—we feel better about ourselves when we own nice things like a car or house—but these things aren’t necessary for happiness! What matters most is being fiscally responsible with one’s finances so that one can maintain peace of mind throughout life rather than worry about what tomorrow might bring due to lack thereof planning today…and then tomorrow arrives but nothing changes because it never does unless someone makes changes first!
How to Get Started
Getting started with your personal debt elimination plan can be as simple as recognizing why you’re in debt and what you want to achieve. If your goal is to get out of debt, then make sure that’s clear from the beginning.
Once you have a good idea about where you’re headed, it’s time to make a plan. You should have an end goal in mind—and ideally that goal will be “Pay off all my debts!” But how do you get there? Begin by looking at the big picture: What do your finances look like right now? How much money are you spending each month on bills and other expenses? Are there any recurring payments that could be reduced or eliminated altogether (like cable or car insurance)? What are your monthly income sources and how much do they add up per month after taxes are taken out (and assuming no additional income).
Next comes the fun part! Think of ways that money can flow into each category: Where do my savings come from right now? What about my credit card balance—how much does it cost me every month in interest payments alone? Can I put any extra funds toward paying off this balance faster than usual without sacrificing essential financial needs such as food and housing costs.
The first step to eliminating debt is to start small. When you’re just starting, focus on paying off the smallest debt you have. This can be a credit card with a $500 balance, or it could be your student loans or mortgage—whatever is easiest for you to pay off. The more money that’s owed on an account, the better it will feel when it’s finally cleared out. Paying off your biggest debt will also give you significant savings in interest and time by putting all of those payments toward one debt instead of bouncing back and forth among several different ones. The more money saved from interest payments and applied toward each individual loan payment means more money available for investment once all debts are paid off!
How to Stay Motivated
The biggest challenge facing any debt-elimination effort is motivation. When you’re deeply in debt, it’s easy to get down on yourself and feel hopeless about the situation. But if you’re motivated enough, there are ways to stay on track.
Here are some strategies for staying motivated:
- Focus on the positive—the fact that you have a plan and are taking action toward your goal can be very motivating in itself!
- Make a plan, then stick to it—you’ll have more motivation if you know exactly what needs to be done next.
- Don’t let yourself get distracted by other things—if something comes up that will take away from your time spent working toward eliminating debt, put it off until later (or delegate). For example: if someone asks me out for dinner or drinks while I’m trying not too spend money on food or booze (because then I’d need even more money), I’ll usually say no because this would make my goal harder for myself
Start with a Plan and a Purpose
To begin your debt repayment journey, start by creating a plan.
- Create a budget and stick to it. Make sure you have an emergency fund in place so that if something unexpected comes up, you’ll have the funds to cover it.
- Create an actual list of priorities—not just for yourself but for your family as well. Some things on that list might include paying off student loans or mortgages, owning a home free and clear, having good insurance coverage in place, saving up enough money for retirement at age 65 (or whatever age is relevant to your situation), or being able to afford future educational expenses for your children or grandchildren.
- Once you’ve created these lists and goals, start working toward them! Write down how much money needs to come in each month and make sure the amount matches what needs are coming out each month—including any debts that need paying down. If there’s not enough coming in to cover everything needed each month with just income from one person’s paycheck then look at cutting expenses as we’ll touch more on later here; however this could also mean getting a second job temporarily until things get back on track financially again which isn’t always easy! But most important here though is not becoming discouraged when things aren’t going according exactly as planned because if anything happens along life’s journey then there will always be bumps along the road ahead but don’t lose hope because God has big plans ahead for those who believe through faith alone without works themselves first proving their faithfulness like Abraham did before us all today too!
Paying off debt is one of the best things you can do for your future, your family’s future, and your community’s future.
Eliminating debt is one of the best things you can do for your future, your family’s future, and your community’s future.
Debt can be a drag on your finances. If you carry a credit card balance or student loan debt then it will be difficult to save money – even if you make more than enough money to pay off what you owe each month. It doesn’t matter if someone else gave you the money (like an employer) or if it was earned through hard work (like from selling products); either way an individual must repay their debts without fail. This means that every dollar spent paying interest on loans will not be available for other expenses like food or clothing—let alone contributing towards retirement savings or starting an investment account!
If left untreated over time this problem can get worse too as interest rates continue to compound: The more time passes between when payments are made versus when they were first borrowed; then compounded again each month thereafter; compounded again with every new payment cycle until finally becoming unmanageable over time due to exponential growth due…