A Haiku - Debt

Debt


Debt is staggering.

One cure exists: the budget.

Assets may be used.

Burdened by debts?

American debt is staggering, and I'm not referring to the National Debt of nearly $18,000,000,000,000. I'm referring to personal debt (although admittedly each American is also ultimately responsible for their share of the National Debt!)

The chances are that someone in your immediate family is already staggered by personal debt.

The chances are that personal debt is not limited to just the car loan and the mortgage, but includes other secured and unsecured loans, especially the ubiquitous credit card debts that are so easy to take on and so hard to shake off.

Credit card debt comes with interest, sometimes exorbitant interest, and then there are the accumulating interests being paid on any penalties for overdrafts, late, and missed payments.

In the real "good old days" there was an understanding that charging too much interest was called "usury." Criminal gangs have been noted for "loan sharking" (charging such high interest that they were effectively making slaves, even co-conspirators of their unfortunate victims.)

These are the "not so good new days" when usury is legal, and compounding interest (if you are paying rather than receiving) just pounds, and pounds, and pounds.

Only slightly less challenging is the fact that even, if you have a real "nest egg," banks, despite the almost 0% interest rates they are charged to borrow, are paying scant interest on savings and certificates of deposit. In fact, the interest on savings is so low that inflation means that in real terms you are losing the purchasing power of what you have saved!

There are several solutions for debt, and the best one is creating a budget, and then sticking to it. The sticking to it can be even harder than creating one.

The winning budget starts with listing reliable income, then lists regular bills and minimum expenses, and takes from any surplus (and let's hope there is some, otherwise more income, reduced expenses, and/or both become a must) an amount to be put into "debt retirement," "future retirement," and the "inevitable emergency fund."

Once that has been done wisely and realistically, whatever is left could go into a "wish list account."

Budgeting so that everyone involved knows where the income comes from and has to go, can set the priorities in stone.

If you can't bring yourself to take a realistic look at your finances, it is time to spend a little up front to get professional advice from a CPA or a certified financial planner, or both.

Debt is an avoidable stress, and modern life in these "not so good new days" has enough stress, without the added stress of endless debt.

Put up the STOP sign by doing a budget, so at least you can know where the "money leaks" are, then do whatever it takes to plug the leaks before the very undesirable reality of bankruptcy becomes the only (and it is undesirable) solution.


Failing to plan, is (by default) planning to fail.

When you are behind, it's time to plan ahead.
When you are behind, it's time to plan ahead. | Source

__________

© 2014-2015 Demas W. Jasper. All rights reserved.

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9 comments

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Great and useful thoughts; just wish it was more detailed. Thank you.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

MsDora - HubPages search engine will lead you to other fine effrorts in this regard, including the 3 or 4 shown here as links, plus one I wrote on what I did with personal debt and interest which has interest in its title. Thanks for following and for the use you can make of this Hub


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Debt is a terrible thing. You are so right and budgets, though often painful really do help!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

AudreyHowitt - For debts, even when they are so overwhelming that they need the suggested professional help, require a first step of a budget. If you don't know what the size of the problem is, you may make a mountain out of a mole hill, or give up without taking even the first step. So many pay their credit cards before they pay themselves. If you can't afford to set anything aside, you need to know why and get help.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thought provoking indeed. I am glad that I pulled myself out of the credit card debt when I left the states. People are falling in the same trap here in Latvia and the worst is they don't understand the credit system very well. I have kept away from that and use a debit card to get money from an ATM when I need it or pay for things at the store only using the money I have in my account.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Gypsy Rose Lee - Safety is best found when one practices being safe. You're on the right track, for sure. Have a great week.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 19 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Note: A prepaid card is better than a debit card because thieves who get your debit card details (or the card itself) can clean out the account you are debiting with a debit card. Put enough into a prepaid card to handle the incidental expenses of small purchases (milk and eggs, gas, tire repair, etc..) and avoid the temptation and the risk of your credit card's readily available "loans."


Keisha Hunter profile image

Keisha Hunter 19 months ago from Paradise and then some

Thank you for sharing. I am on my way to making a recovery from indebtedness.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 18 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Keisha Hunter - An old saying which seems worth recalling says that "God helps those who help themselves." The more the merrier! Paradise will look even better when you are free of debt. Keep at it, out of the whittling away will come a fine remembrance.

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