Consumer Debt Will Keep You Poor

How many people pay off debt only to rack up even more consumer debt? You are not alone if this has happened to you. I’ve been there before. You pay off a credit card debt and are pleased with your accomplishment. Then you get an offer in the mail or come up with clever ways to buy more junk, and before you know it, you’re carrying a balance again! It’s a never-ending, vicious cycle in which you, the debtor, will almost certainly lose.

Avoid falling back into debt

There are loads of articles available that provide advice on how to deal with debt, so we won’t reinvent the wheel here. I do, however, want to share a few pointers with you on what has helped me become debt-free. If you’re serious about getting rid of it, you should take whatever steps are necessary to make it happen. The key is to avoid falling back into debt once you’ve paid it off. After all, consumer debt should not be an ongoing expense in your budget. I can only advise you to get rid of it as soon as possible—your future is at stake!

Consumer debt can be detrimental to your health and finances

Whatever way you look at it, the best way to pay off debt is to either spend less or earn more money, or a combination of the two. Send any extra funds to your debt repayment program. Debt will not vanish by posting your daily drama on social media or if you leave it to a higher power without doing your part. You can pay it off with a well-planned strategy.

Aside from negatively impacting your finances, consumer debt can be extremely harmful to your health. It can keep you awake at night, raise your blood pressure, and make you anxious. It is an impediment to living a happy life.

When you carry consumer debt as part of your daily poison intake, the power of compounding can keep you poor and struggling, just as it can help you build wealth when it works for you. Don’t put off becoming debt-free any longer; it’s costing you a lot of money. Come to the other side of debt-free living. Once you are on this side and begin to have savings that you invest and earn interest on rather than debt, you will begin to see the power of compounding interest at work for you.

What do you believe are the obstacles that prevent people from becoming debt-free? Do you have any debt-reduction tips you’d like to share with our readers?


After dedicating 13 years of his career to Vanguard, José retired from the corporate world at the young age of 44. During his tenure at Vanguard, he expertly coordinated the production of both electronic and print educational materials for 401(k) participants. Now, he relishes in his early retirement, cherishing time spent with his family, indulging in his favorite hobbies, seeking out new experiences, and savoring meals in the comfort of his own backyard.

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Mrs. Goodlife
Mrs. Goodlife
9 years ago

Great article! I think the biggest challenge for people to become debt free is changing their behavior of buying things just because you want it. I have been there and still fight the urges now and again to buy something I don’t need, but really want.
My advice to become debt free when it comes to credit cards is to consolidate to a low interest credit card (if you have a transfer offer of 0% or 3%, that works much better than 20%+), put all your cards away ( I ‘ve gone as far as shredding them) and pay the debt off as soon as possible. Any extra income should be going towards that debt. Once you pay it off, don’t loose the habit. Invest instead in a retirement account of investment/savings. We have eliminated over $30K in credit card debt and saved over 6 figures just by doing this.

9 years ago
Reply to  Mrs. Goodlife

Hi Mrs. Goodlife, happy travels! I checked your site the other day and noticed that you’re living the life in Hawaii. Very nice. Great advice on how to reduce credit card debt. I even heard of freezing the credit card in ice cubes to resist the temptation… Very good point on moving on to investing the proceeds after paying off the debt to keep the habit. Congrats on your 6 figures savings! It’s awesome to hear inspirational stories like yours. Thanks for reading.

9 years ago

I’m a big fan of the Dave Ramsey system of the debt snowball and forgoing credit altogether. Many people will attack me because I’ve decided to never borrow money again, for any reason. What they are missing is the list of people I’ve seen whose lives have been destroyed by debt. Even those people that “pay their balance in full” every month. Debt gives you a false sense of security, and given the perfect storm it is a loaded gun waiting to harm somebody. If I can’t afford it, I don’t buy it. If I can buy it, I pay cash or debit.

I agree with you: live below your means, get laser focused, and eliminate debt. But if you want to make sure you never go back, you have to leave the room and toss out the keys after you are done cleaning it.

9 years ago
Reply to  LM

Yes, I am big fan of any system that it’s well designed to get you to become debt free. I think people just don’t learn the lesson of why they got in trouble in the first place and that keeps them trapped, making the same mistake over and over again. Not borrowing again it’s a great decision on your behalf and if you have an FI mindset, I’m sure you’d get attacks on other fronts as well. People only see what they want to see. If they want to follow a certain path they tend to lean on the positive side of things and vice versa, if they don’t want to go in a certain direction, they’ll concentrate on the negative. They’ll give you all kinds of excuses on why you need to borrow and what you’re missing out on from not borrowing. And just like you said, they set themselves up for failure when the perfect storm comes. Great comment and congrats on living a debt free life!

Bladimir Mercedes
9 years ago
Reply to  LM

No man’s credit is as good as his money. Take that from someone who repairs credit for a living. Most who will attack you are defending themselves because it takes exceptional discipline not to borrow, specially when you have access credit and loans. Keep it up.

9 years ago

Agree! Cash will always be king!

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