Here’s a question for you:
Close you eyes and figure out what I’m describing
Open your eyes, this won’t work unless you are reading. Doh!
Ok. Ready? Here we go:
What would you call something that:
Is easy to get your hands on.
Gives you instant gratification, but leaves you feeling terrible later on.
Has everyone around you using it, and they look “cool” when they use it.
Can do damage to you for after using it that lasts for months, or years.
Can wreck a home situation, and tear a family apart.
Can leave you freaking out after you have used it.
Is hard to shake it after you start using it.
Leaves you wanting more and more so you can use it again.
Yep. Good ol’ debt! …Well if you guessed drugs that’s right too.
But isn’t it freaky that they’re the same?
Is Debt A Drug?
When you think of a drug, what kind of images come up? Is it something illegal or illicit? Or is it something more acceptable like a bottle of wine or a cup of coffee?
Or do you think of debt?
Wait! What?!? Debt is not a drug. Debt is just…well… debt. We all have it.
Debt isn’t a drug… But then again, is it?
We all have it. We’ve all used it. It’s just a normal part of life. So it can’t a drug.
If you are still thinking, “Andy (we’re close enough that you can call me that), there is no way debt is a drug. You’re way off!”
Then consider what is most closely associated to drugs… addiction.
Are You Addicted To Debt?
As you sit there with your coffee (*cough* drug *cough* ).
I’ll kindly ask you to consider this:
- Are you relying on it?
- Can you live without it?
- Do you think about it all the time?
- Are you trying to get away from it, but juuuussst can’t break away from it?
- Is it keeping you up at night?
- When you use it, do you tell yourself: “This is the last time?” and know in your heart it’s really not?
- Are you willing to talk about it? Or is something you keep secret because there’s some shame that comes from using it?
My friends, if we were describing anything else but debt, you would tell that person they had an addiction.
Another Strange Similarity
The more you compare the two (debt and drugs), the more similarities there are between them. There’s the strung out junkies, “Hey man… Can I borrow 5 bucks, I’m a little short.”
Then there’s the hierarchy.
The King-pins (the lenders),
The Dealers (brokers and agents),
The Pushers “Excuse me sir have you signed up for our new credit card?”.
And don’t even get me started on the fact that there’s the people (and friends) who glamorize it, and the people who are dead set against it.
It’s got every aspect that drugs have!
The more you compare the two, the more commonalities you’ll see.
Kicking the Debt Addiction
So how do we get off this crazy train? Well, we could go cold turkey. But that’s easier said than done.
We could wean ourselves off of it a little at a time.
We could get counselling and work out way through it.
We could join a group of people wanting to improve their finances.
The first step, and really the way to starting getting off of debt dragon, is to make a decision.
Here and now: Decide that you are not going to let debt rule your life any more. Come up with a plan and start working towards it.
Now I’m not saying debt is always bad. I like my credit card. But credit paid off every month isn’t debt (or maybe I’m in denial). Without debt, I don’t really know what our society would look like.
But still, with personal debt levels soaring to all time highs in many countries it begs to ask the question:
“Are we addicted to debt?” and follow up that question with…
“Can we stop?”
So what are your thoughts? Is debt a drug? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.