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8 Reasons You Should Break Up with Debt

in Courtney's Posts, Pay Off Your Debt

Note: This is a post from Courtney Baker, chief seller and long-time running wo-man of MvD.

It goes without saying that breaking up on Valentine’s Day is a bold move- it is the day to celebrate relationships, not destroy them. Luckily, we’re not afraid of being bold. We’re going to break up with debt, and you should too.

It’s a little leech sucking you dry one monthly minimum at a time.

It was great in the beginning. You were completely committed to the relationship. You were strapped for cash and Debt saved the day. It provided with you freedom, breathing room, and comfort of 0% APR for the ENTIRE year! What could be better?

Then, the year ended, and Debt started getting a little demanding. So demanding, that now you feel trapped, even more trapped than you felt before you started using Debt.

I hear the excuses coming- it’s not the right time, not the right place, next month, etc.

You can’t afford to wait.

Why You Should Break Up With Debt

1. You’ve Been Duped

You thought debt was saving your butt- chunks of cash in a pinch and low interest rates. It was like your best friend loaning you money.  You were duped.

Debt is a “strings-attached” kind of relationship. In fact, it’s more like “cable-cords anchored”. Strings are easier to cut loose. Debt gives you one apple and expects three in return.

Your situation is worse now than ever. You are tied and bound.

2. You’re More Sad Than Happy

Buying news things makes you happy…temporarily. It’s a lot like puppy love- intense at the beginning, but it teeters off quickly.

Monthly payments set in and so does the self-loathing. Why did I do that? What’s wrong with me? Sadness and guilt are far more intense than the joy you ever felt buying the crap.

You deserve the deeper, longer lasting love that comes with planning your purchases and using money you actually have.

3. You’re Doing All The Work

Debt is like your ‘sugar daddy’ or ‘baby mama’. You had some short-lived fun together, but now you are left to clean up the mess, alone.

You have to give up future fun to pay for old fun. You have you work longer hours and side jobs to keep up with the payments.  And on top of all that, you are giving a monthly stipend to Debt just as a ‘thank you’ for letting me use it.

4. You Have to Read the Fine Print

Did you know that we spend 12% more when buying with a card?  You knew there would be interest. Bet you didn’t realize you’d be forking out an additional 12%. That’s the unwritten fine print.

The written fine print outlines that you can be charged absurd late fees and be subject prematurely to APR increases if you miss a due date. Oh, want to pay by phone? Sure that’ll cost $25!

What a great relationship you have here! So warm…and friendly.

5. Your Debt Scares Away Potential Mates

I’ve yet to see ‘in debt’ listed as a top quality mates find attractive. NPR published an article that young adults are avoiding relationships with partners in debt.

College students are graduating with increasing amounts of debt and entering flooded employment markets. You have to admit, it can make you really think about your future with someone when they bring an $80,000 debt into the relationship!

6. You Wouldn’t Want Your Parents To Know

Enough said. It’s your biggest secret.

7. Your Friends Are Rallying Against Your Relationship

Your friends are starting to speak up. That’s not an easy thing for them to do. Take a minute to listen to them. Perhaps, they have a better view of what you are too blinded by love to see.

8. You Feel Like It’s Time to Move On

There’s a lot to be said about a gut feeling. 

You’ve realized there’s more to your life than this. You are bigger, worth more. You feel a sense of disgust setting in for the mess you’ve made, but don’t hate yourself. Hate Debt. Put a picture on the wall, throw darts at it- you are moving on from that old life.

According to Urban Dictionary, break-up money is 

“the extra cash one comes into following the end of a relationship after cutting expenses like dinner dates, jewelry, and other spending for the ex-significant other.”

Imagine a life without debt. No more minimums. No more massive interest payments that aren’t even going toward the balance. Oh, the freedom you’d feel.

That’s a lot of break-up money.

You could even start tackling that bucket list of yours. Ski. Visit India. Learn to cook. Attend a workshop. Open a business. Retire comfortably.

Now that sounds like true love.

What’s on your bucket list? What would you do with the break-up money if you got rid of your abusive relationship with debt?

Comment and share!

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle February 14, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I can’t wait until my student loans are gone forever. Definitely need to break up with that debt!

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Courtney February 14, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Adios Student Loans! Have a nice life!

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Kimberly February 14, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Debt, I’m breaking up with you TODAY!!!!! It’s been an on-again-off-again-relationship, but it’s time that I break up with you for good. I’ve been disappointed by you over and over again. No more. This girl is moving on!!!!!!

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Courtney February 14, 2013 at 10:58 AM

See, isn’t this the best Valentine’s Day ever! ;)

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Philip Campbell (Freedom From Student Loans Blog) February 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM

What a super-fantastic, fun article Courtney. Brilliant. :-)

Saying goodbye to debt is so freeing. It’s the path to independence. It provides a nice cushion between you and the ups and downs of finances and life. It’s the path to freedom.

Very well done. Thank you for such a fun look at a very important subject.

You will motivate more people to consider paying their student loans off faster too. Too many people have been lured into stretching out their student debt forever. The wise approach is get the debt out of your life and reach for a higher place – to use what a person learned in school to become wise with their money rather than fall into the trap of making minimum payments. Financial freedom is waiting for the person that sacrifices to get out of debt.

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Courtney February 14, 2013 at 3:16 PM

I agree! I think student loans go unnoticed because they aren’t as demanding (low interest, etc). But they are just as limiting in the long run.

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Patty February 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Cannot wait for all my student loans to be paid off :) Spring 2014 – all student loans and car note will be paid in full! Def something to celebrate!

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Stephie February 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM

How funny to read this today !! Yesterday I started a new blog I named breaking up with debt, there is a link to it on the site Iisted. I just started posting yesterday and that is exactlyl how we see it, we have to break up that relationship we have with debt. It is one sided, we get the bad half, and we are tired of it. We got some great Debt coaches and are going to hit it hard to get out of debt and I started that blog to write about our journey. Great post, good points, and a goal worth attaining, sending Debt to the curb !!
Stephie

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Courtney February 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM

It’s a great blog idea. Can wait to see your name pop up in the blogosphere!

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Dianne February 14, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Debt, our good times are behind us. I’m through with this co-dependency. To put it bluntly, I’m growing and you’re not.

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Courtney February 14, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Perfect! What a great mantra- “I’m growing, you’re not”.

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Jake Erickson February 14, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Nicely timed article! I agree with all of your reasons and it’s scary to think of how much it actually works with the relationship metaphor. Let’s hope this article inspires many others to break up with debt this Valentine’s Day!

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Courtney February 14, 2013 at 3:25 PM

I was shocked at how similar the two can be. Here’s to an all around better quality of life this Valentine’s Day!

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Leah February 14, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Fantastic! I love it. Very fun and very true!

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Grayson @ Debt Roundup February 14, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Debt is a relationship that we should all push to the curb. Don’t just stay with the status quo and dump that junk. Nice article Courtney.

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Rebecca February 14, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Once I got rid of my debt I would love to travel almost all over Europe. That is my dream vacation and maybe buy a small house with less than 900 sq. ft. without going into debt to do all of the above. Plus have money left over to go towards my daughters future.

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Courtney February 15, 2013 at 12:55 AM

I feel like you’ve peeked into my dreams! I’d love a little affordable place that I can maintain while traveling. We can do it Rebecca!

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Sochea June 22, 2013 at 3:48 AM

hey courtney!finally gitteng on your blog and enjoying it so much.i am in love with your kids! i couldn’t pass up the chance to give a mommy~daughter idea. i remember the days of helping my mom cook, or bake.just gitteng to stir at first and then moving up to making the whole thing as she instructed.then being in the kitchen with my girls and letting them make a whole cake from start to finish and then showing dad and eating it that night when he got home from work. oh the memories! you are a wonderful mom .. i have seen it. love ya’ll

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Mike February 14, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Now that I’m extending Lending Club loans, I’m getting interest PAID to me from OTHER people. This has had a powerful impact on me and I realize so clearly why the wealthy are wealthy and the debt-ridden are poor. If I had only started my own journey years ago, I’d be in so much better a position now. That said, we’re building assets as fast as we can and I get downright giddy everyday when I log in and see them grow!

Debt is a parasite! Nice article!

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Do or Debt February 15, 2013 at 3:29 AM

I cannot wait to dump the debt. Buh bye! FOREVER! Toxic relationship.
Once my student loans are paid off, I will be free, rich and will travel all over!

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David Bilbrey February 15, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Great article. So true. What I really like about this is the thought process. It about understanding what really brings energy and life to us and what steals it. It is about stepping back and seeing the big picture and designing a life worth living instead functioning and making decision “in the moment” without the larger perspective. Debt is a disease of modern society that is based on a reductionist mindset instead of a more Whole Ecosystem perspective.
We are getting inoculated from this horrible debilitating disease and will have super strong emotional and intellectual immune systems to never be vulnerable to this virus ever again!

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psumba February 15, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Debt isn’t always a bad thing. You DO need the right kind of debt that you obtain for the right reasons! I’ve been in debt for all but 6 months of the past 30 years. I’ve been over a million dollars in debt. Where you do get into trouble is when you finance your lifestyle through high-interest credit card debt!

I’ve had several home mortgages. They allowed me to:
.- buy a house long before I could have otherwise
.- finance my businesses
.- buy income producing commercial property that will comfortably fund my retirement

I’ve also taken out numerous business loans. They have allowed me to expand my businesses much more rapidly than I could have done otherwise. Unfortunately, the government has made it VERY difficult for banks to lend to small businesses these days. This is one of the many reasons for the stagnant economy and lack of jobs / upward mobility for those with jobs!

I’ve had a business line of credit for many years. While this gives me the ability to “smooth out” irregular cash flow, it comes with an interest rate close to the prime rate … unlike the dreaded credit card debt … that has horrible interest rates.

While I am a religious reader of this blog, I shudder to think what would NOT have happened if I hadn’t taken on ANY debt in my life!!!

JUST MAKE SURE THAT IT IS THE RIGHT KIND OF DEBT THAT YOU TAKE ON FOR THE RIGHT REASONS!

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Amy Hagerup February 15, 2013 at 11:14 PM

Debt is a killer of dreams. It puts a person in bondage. BUT people can get out of it if they put their mind to it. I just did a blog post on the connection of struggling with debt and being overweight. I read a similar post here too. Keep up the good work. You are making a difference!

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Cassi February 16, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Haha, that was a really cute way to incorporate the holiday into your post. Bravo!

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Ivan February 18, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Courtney,

I agree that having debt is like being in a bad relationship. Both makes you feel caged, sorry for your life, and wondering if there are better things out there.

Here’s another reason to break up with debt: taking control of your personal finance will have a cascading positive effect on the rest of your life.

I’ve experienced that most debt problems are born from deeper emotional issues, such as feeding one’s need to feel worthy. Dealing with the issue on the surface (e.g. debt) forces us to deal with the emotional drivers of our behaviours as well. Once we fix those deeply-ingrained drivers, we can’t help but effect change in the rest of our lives. You may just finally be able to lose the pounds, quit smoking, reduce clutter etc.

And ultimately, that’s what we want, right? A better life. Removing debt is a great first step to taking and regaining control over your life.

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katie z February 18, 2013 at 11:39 PM

a lovely list of reasons. I’m on the path to getting rid of my debt & I couldn’t be more excited to have control of my life again!

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RedSirenJulie February 23, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Hello,
I just wanted to check in to say the sale of my property finally went through allowing me to wipe of £18,500 worth of debt. I am doing really well.

Just another £6000 to go and I expect to get there within the next year.

My boyfriend and I intend to save up some money and go traveling.

This site has helped me loads and I recommend it all the time!

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