Wide World o ZuTroy

Looking at Money a Little Different

Every Penny Counts

My wife and I have been struggling to recover from the debt we incurred when we closed down a business venture a few years ago.  We were starting to think we weren’t going to be able to make it.

Then about 3 months and 6 days ago were were given a tough choice to make.  We could either settle our single largest account or let it go to a legal firm for collections which could only mean one option at that point.  I have always been against that option and so has my wife.  So against all odds we accepted the settlement offer.  We had 3 months to come up with more than we would have normally paid in almost 2 years on that account.  It was a great offer considering it was less than a third of what was owed on the account but still, it seemed impossible.

“How can we do this when we can’t even make the minimum payment?” I wondered  several times out loud.  “We’re really just buying a few more months until we have to do the unthinkable.”

But we sat down and made a list of every possible option we could think of for generating some additional income.  Sell the car, sell old school books, cut out this expense, cut out that expense, skip a payment or two on this thing and that thing, get extra student loans, apply for as many grants as we could think of, do some small design jobs, find some larger design jobs, make some crafty things to sell to neighbors and friends, etc, etc, etc.  Our list of what we could see as possible income was a little more than what we would need but the odds of those things panning out was still a long shot.  Ok, long shot is a little mild. It was downright impossible without some major influence from Heaven.

Immediately we cut all our spending on anything that wasn’t essential to live.  Then we started working on the additional income.  Well one miracle after another they started to pan out.  One old client from said failed business venture even called out of the blue asking for some work that could only be done by myself and my former partner.  I definitely didn’t see that one coming.

Well the deadline was last Thursday. And we made it, barely but we made it.

The most amazing part of it all is to see how the impossible can be possible when you think about money a little different. And when you get a little divine help.

So there are a number of things that I have always thought about money and our society but I think I finally know them now.

  1. In our society we are taught to think about money and jobs to make us part of the system. We contribute by putting in our time and consuming every bit that we can. We have been taught to purchase things  on credit that cost more than what we bring home in a single paycheck.  We focus on our credit rating because we are taught that without good credit, we can’t do anything or go anywhere in life.
  2. Well, it’s all lies.  Consumption doesn’t help build the economy.  Especially consumption that uses credit to exist.  It doesn’t create happiness.  It doesn’t create stability or security. It creates dependence and slavery. It’s the opposite of freedom.
  3. Buying into the whole “go to school, get a degree, get a good job, retire when you are 62.5” that’s just ludicrous.  It just doesn’t make sense.
  4. Credit is stupid.  Buying on credit is stupid. Thinking you need a good credit score is stupid.  Did you know that people will still accept cash?
  5. Here’s the way I see it now:  Make a list of needs. Make a list of wants. Save for each.  Save a large amount for emergencies (at least 10% of income).  A budget isn’t about tracking where the money has gone. It’s about planning and not buying until you have the money budgeted or set aside for that purchase.

So here’s my challenge.  Now that this painful experience is over I am going to live by my budget and only buy things with money that is sitting in my bank account.  I don’t really care what my credit rating is because honestly, I don’t plan on ever needing it again.  I’ve proven to myself that when you create a goal and honestly strive to reach that goal, you can accomplish what you have previously thought impossible.

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  • http://twitter.com/unculturedswine Joel Jenkins

    Hooray for letting your Credit Score die! As Dave Ramsey says, all a credit score is good for is showing you you’re good at managing your debt. Just about every societal issue we suffer from is due mostly in part to stupid “common sense” teachings that you’re fed all growing up. For years we hear that having a good credit score is necessary to participate in life, so we saddle ourselves with debt as a nation and look at where we are?

    I’m just beginning to learn that the whole dieting craze is just a bunch of crap and even more lies. We live in a time where we have access to more “health” food, low-fat no-fat low-calorie organic mumbo jumbo food and yet we’re the fattest people ever. Why? Because we’re so focused on telling our bodies what it should eat that we’ve neglected to learn what our bodies want to eat and listening to our bodies. Anyway… I digress.

    Raise a shot of OJ and drink to a dying Credit Score. Debt: You can go to Hell!