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The debt lifestyle: conquering the crabs for financial freedom

How many of us were trained to think that debt was a part of our modern-day lifestyle? When everyone around us has jumped in the pool of easy credit and quick financial “fixes”, it’s hard for anyone to immediately see the actual downside of this lifestyle choice.

We have such a casual attitude about debt in our society. Our student loans were for higher education, which is an investment into our future. Car loans are necessary because we all need transportation, right? And weren’t these the things that were supposed to help us achieve financial freedom?

Yet with all those justifications floating around, our debt still gives us a very constant feeling of guilt that we just can’t shake. We don’t have true financial freedom when we’re hampered down with unnecessary bills. The culture of debt resignation (we need debt just to maintain so we have to just accept it in our lives) is set. But where does this stem? Most likely, it’s coming from the people closest to you.

Family, friends, co-workers, bosses: who’s to blame?

Admit it: no matter what place in life you’re in, a part of you needs some sort of acceptance from those closest to you. You want your parents to be proud so you go to the best college you can. Your spouse absolutely loved that house that was over your price-point, but you sign the mortgage anyway for the sake of their happiness. And what’s a night out with your friends without drinks and dinner, even if you have to charge it in order to go.

In an effort to make the people closest to us happy – and to feel accepted as a part of something – we bend our financials until they break. And then we’re left wondering how it got so bad? You are partly to blame for making those decisions in the first place, but it’s fair to say that other’s “encouraged” your choices along the way.

The crabs in your bucket

Have you ever felt pressured by your boss to attend a conference that you’ll get reimbursed for weeks or months after it’s over? Or do you feel obligated to follow the financial advice of your parents give even though you know it’s probably not right for you? How about letting your friends pressure you into buying something as a treat that you can’t exactly afford?

We all have crabs in our bucket, and sometimes they can be the people who really do mean well. We all need debt to make it, and they surely feel that way. So, of course, you need to pick up a few credit cards along the way for survival as well. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of continuing to pile on the debt on the advice of your family and friends, make it a point to change your habits.
What will you do today that will rewire your resignation to debt?

Sign up for my weekly words of wisdom (in the top right-hand corner of your screen) for encouraging thoughts each Tuesday. And be sure to check out my book, The Emotion Behind Money, for guidance and healing. You can take control of your finances, and I can help you.

Tags: financial freedom, crabs in your bucket, the debt lifestyle, living in debt, debt consolidation, student loan debt, credit card debt, debt relief, Julie Murphy casserly, emotion behind money

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