Debt is Dumb, Cash is King
Only a few short years ago I was drowning in debt like the average American. Two-thirds of the public lives paycheck to paycheck. The majority also does not have $1,000 in savings in case there is an emergency, but many have a large screen TV that costs that much. And most people’s worst fear is a job loss.
As the Great Recession came along and nuked any remaining loyalty I had to my employer when he started treating me like a number instead of a human being, I realized things had to change. Here I had this wonderful, magical piece of paper called a college degree and my employer didn’t seem to give a damn anymore. It was the magical piece of paper I was told by the state education system would be my ticket to a prosperous future, now rendered practically Worthless in the modern economy.
I started to realize I just wanted to be free and didn’t want to play financial games with money coming in and money going out every month while I remained chained to my employer.
Extricating Myself from the Web of Debt
I was up to my neck in bills which I will readily admit that was my own fault, as Larry Winget points out in You’re Broke Because You Want to Be. Desperate to find a solution to a growing debt problem and an unreliable job, I went to the library and stumbled on a book by a guy named Dave Ramsey. I had never heard of him before, but his book seemed different than all the others. It wasn’t promising get rick quick nonsense. No, his methods were hard-assed, old fashioned common sense. It is the same brand of real talk Dave uses on his nationally syndicated radio show.
His Baby Steps will get you out of debt but they take time and they are not easy to do. They require lifestyle changes. For me, I had to flush the sewers of consumerism and conspicuous consumption out of my mind. I also had to break the nasty habit of using credit cards and start paying with cash. Yes, cash for everything. That was a huge and difficult change for me but it has led me to a much better place in life and it will do the same for you.
I had to get rid of car payments. I had to stop keeping up with the Joneses. But you know what – it was worth it. I was ridiculed for living on nothing by a good many people. But I get to laugh last because those same people are still going in to kiss the ring of their master every day while I have the freedom to do other things in life.
If you check out Dave Ramsey’s plan, here is what he proposes. (He also suggests some good old fashioned rice and beans minimalism, which is a great step in reducing your food bill.)
- Rake up $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
- Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball method
- Put 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
- Invest 15% of household income into retirement
- Save college funding for children
- Pay off your home early
- Build wealth and give!
It is a solid plan for the average married couple of the 1950s. However, thanks to Cultural Marxism and the HUGE legal risks involved with a feminized, misandrist family court system, marriage in Anglo-America is not advisable and men are understandably going on a marriage strike.
For the man who wants to extricate himself from a system that abuses him, a mortgage is also not recommended. It is debatable, but to me a home is a huge albatross around a man’s neck. Especially the sprawling McMansions that women want to impress their friends with. Better to rent and invest the rest, in my opinion. The days of sticking with the same employer until retirement are long gone, so chances are you will have to relocate and sell your home even if you decide not to travel the world as I have. Therefore, here is my revised version of the Baby Steps.
- Rake up $1,000 to start and Emergency Fund
- Pay of all debt using the Debt Snowball
- Save 25% to 50% (or more!) of your income by living a minimalistic lifestyle
- Invest a large portion of your savings in mutual funds
- Develop a plan to work abroad or grow a passive income
- Work as necessary and travel the world
As I have pointed out in previous posts, I realized my dream of living abroad where the women are of higher quality and there is more freedom. My monthly cost of living in the Caribbean comes out to around $450. You only need save $5,400 to take a year off work and enjoy the beaches, boozes, and bitches of many a nation. (This will become an increasingly powerful motivator if you start to travel. Travel is a very eye-opening experience for the single man.)
One of the main excuses I hear from people who study Dave Ramsey is, “But I’ll always have a car payment!” No, you need a Dave Ramsey beater car, or as I did buy a classic that you won’t be sick of in a few years and drive it forever. I bought a 2001 Firebird Formula back in 2009 and I am still driving that car to this day.
Because I learned some basic auto mechanics, rented cars for trips, and supplemented my daily commute with a low-cost ($2,000) motorcycle to save on miles and wear and tear on the car, I was able to amass enough money to liberate myself and run off to the Caribbean to try something new.
Your dreams may not be the same as mine, but the point is I know you have a dream and as we are about to see, money will buy you the freedom to realize it.
Debt Is Slavery
The most important takeaway from Dave Ramsey is his motto: Debt is dumb, cash is king. Treat it as a financial commandment.
Another Recommended Read which takes this thinking to the next level is Debt Is Slavery by Michael Mihalik. It is a powerful book written by an engineer who also decided to free himself from debt servitude. Each chapter reads like a phrase that should be chiseled into a stone tablet:
- Debt is slavery
- Time may not be money, but money is definitely time
- Possessions are a prison
- Be aware of the ongoing campaign to separate you from your money
- Money buys freedom (Very important concept!)
- Don’t sell your soul for a salary
- Spend less than your earn by controlling your expenses
- Save 50% of your salary
- Control your money or your money will control you
Debt Is Slavery details each of these financial commandments in a concise way. It is a quick read, but as the minimalists know sometimes less is more. There is no need to bloviate as many books do. As Einstein said: If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
Once you have realized a debt free lifestyle, you may be like me and never see yourself going back into the prison of debt servitude again. There is no comparison to being in control, rather than powerless to stop running on a financial hamster wheel.
Money is freedom, a fact modern man has forgotten. Look at it this way: Would you feel freer with a $20,000 car you have to make monthly payments on or $20,000 cash in the bank do anything you want? Never trade freedom for possessions. Posessions become their own prison.
Some people go through the most incredible mental acrobatics to avoid the harsh truth pointed out by these financial authors, but getting yourself out of debt and staying out of debt will never steer you wrong. It can be done.
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