For the past few years, I have seen debt literally tear up families. I’ve never struggled with debt myself. I tell myself that the reason is because I taught myself discipline and self-control. Yet, in all honesty, there are a lot of reasons why I am not in debt. I was lucky enough to be born in a middle class family. I was lucky to go to college, get a job soon after, and so on. If we all take the time to admit the positive or negative influences in our lives, we would begin to understand that things are more complicated than they seem.

Family Influence Why I’m Not in Debt

My cousin, of whom I remember having the best time when we were growing up, has been married a couple times and divorced at least once for financial reasons. His first wife had a spending problem. While he worked to earn money, she was busy shopping. In a matter of a few years, they racked up thousands in debt, thereby leaving him with no other option than to divorce her and cause a lot of pain and troubles for their children.

While I didn’t think of it at the time, I realize now that this story has stayed with me. My wife would never do this to me and I know that. We enjoy a stress-free life because we aren’t caught up in the latest spending spree or nicest things. Not everyone has this luxury – and I hate that.

Close Friends Living a Different Life

In the past 3 years, my wife and I have paid for our entire graduate degrees without taking out any student loans – and we don’t plan to. Yet, a close friend of mine went through school a completely different way. He and his wife took out loans to pay for school, rent, and some fun. They rationed that they would prefer to get through school in the minimum time and then get a job to pay off the loans. It sounds like a great idea, except that it wasn’t as easy as he thought to get a job. It’s now a couple years later and he’s returned to school so that he can continually defer his loans. I’m not sure he will ever pay off his loans.

Too often people live in debt because that is all that they know. They don’t know how good it feels to sleep at night without worrying about paying the bills. I write so that others can know how good of a life it is to live debt free. It is possible. I’m living proof.