Break the Chains

Did you inadvertently and unknowingly trade your freedom for a flat screen TV, dinners out and a drawer full of obsolete electronics?

Joe Plemon recently published an excellent blog titled, What is Your Debt Actually Costing You? In addition to the dollar cost, in terms of interest paid, that comes to mind immediately, Joe lists lost opportunity cost, marital costs, health costs and what he calls the creativity costs as components of the actual cost of debt.

Any one of these costs can be devastating to your happiness.

Let’s look more closely at what Joe calls the Creativity Cost of debt.

If your debt load has you stuck in an unhappy, unhealthy job, I’m sure you’ll agree that creativity cost of debt is way too nice of a term to describe what is holding you in your situation. That debt is costing not just your creativity but your freedom as well.

I live in an area of historically low wages and current high unemployment. I have heard from several people that even businesses that have not been hurt by the recession are using the tough job market like a baseball bat to beat up their work force.

Employees find themselves charged a larger percentage of their healthcare costs, given heavier workloads and constantly threatened with pay cuts, reduced hours or unemployment.

Scared by high unemployment rates, dropping wages and mostly by their own precarious financial situation, many remain chained in miserable jobs and suffer day after day.

If you are currently employed by a Simon Legree and feel you cannot leave because of the mountain of debt you owe, you not only understand “the borrower is slave to the lender”, you feel it.

The situation should make you angry. You should be mad that someone would use economic news instead of your companies actual economic reality to influence jobs and wages.

You should also be mad that you allowed yourself to be painted into this very uncomfortable corner.

There is little you can do about your employer’s lack of empathy – but there is a lot you can do about your own vulnerability.

Use this anger to fuel your new financial rebirth; get so mad about your lack of options that you swear to never again go into debt or to be without a big emergency fund.

Remember these feelings of anger and powerlessness and call on them to motivate you to really attack your debt this time.

2 thoughts on “Break the Chains”

  1. Thanks for the referral. And maybe I was being a bit too nice with my reference to creativity costs…getting angry and using that anger to motivate change is a great tactic for those who have allowed themselves to become slaves. Good post!

  2. Thanks for building on Joe’s post. Debt, and more specifically interest as Joe points out, creates a huge burden for the borrower and makes it easy to feel “stuck” in your current job.

    The first step is to create a budget you can live under and stop borrowing now. Find new streams of income to supplement your current job and pay off your debt. As you pay off debt, you will have more income that is not predisposed. This is income that can be put to work for you gradually reducing the dependency on your job.

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