A few months ago – actually years – before we had our first child, we decided we needed a new car. We had two cars, a ’95 Jeep Cherokee and a ’92 Plymouth Sundance. It was also 2006, so our newest car was 11 years old. And, I was making a 120 mile round trip commute to school every day. So we wanted to get something that would be better on gas. We decided we’d be replacing the Sundance since it needed a little bit of work. Not a ton, but some.
So we did what the average American would do and took out a loan to buy a car. It was a good and safe car, but more than we could afford from the money we had saved. It was a 5 year loan. Pretty low interest rate. So as far as loans go, not a bad deal. However, over the life of the loan, we ended up paying more than $2,000 in interest on the loan. We could have more than fixed the Sundance for that $2,000. And that doesn’t include the principal.
When we finally paid off the loan, I posted on Facebook, “Finally chewed my leg out of that bear trap.” And that is what it felt like. It felt like we were chained to this thing, and every payment we made, it was like giving away another little piece of our soul. We will never take out another car loan again.
And that’s just a car loan, think about how much money has been given in interest to credit card and mortgage companies! Ouch!
My child, if you have made a pledge for your neighbor,
and have become a guarantor for a stranger,
if you have been ensnared by the words you have uttered,
and have been caught by the words you have spoken,
then, my child, do this in order to deliver yourself,
because you have fallen into your neighbor’s power:
go, humble yourself,
and appeal firmly to your neighbor.
Permit no sleep to your eyes
or slumber to your eyelids.
Deliver yourself like a gazelle from a snare,
and like a bird from the trap of the fowler.
Just look at the intensity with which we are supposed to go after this problem of debt in our lives! The wise old sage giving this advice didn’t say, just go about your normal routine and eventually it will take care of itself. Keep making the minimum monthly payments, and eventually you’ll be fine. Keep spending more than you make, and eventually it will all balance out.
No, he used intense language. “Humble yourself.” “Appeal firmly.” “Permit no sleep to your eyes or slumber to your eyelids.” “Deliver yourself like a gazelle from a snare and like a bird from a trap.”
He uses such intense language, that you would think your very life depended on getting free. I’ll be honest with you, we’re not debt free. We had just come up with a plan for attacking our debt when I first got cut to part time. I deeply wish we had gotten after this earlier. Then things wouldn’t feel quite as desperate as they do now. You can be sure, that we will get this taken care of as soon as I have a job. I hope you will find your freedom from debt as soon as you possibly can.
Attack your debt. As Dave Ramsey would say, attack it with gazelle-like intensity. Chew your leg out of the bear trap. You might limp, but at least you’ll be free!