Debt vs. ownership is a concept that I've been thinking a lot about lately. I've come to the realization that too many people simply don't understand the effects debt has on their lives. Once you truly understand the multitude of consequences of being in debt, you discover financial opportunities most people don't realize are possible. The key is to develop an ownership mentality. Once you change from a debt mindset to an ownership mindset, you'll see changes in your life you never thought possible!
In this article I'll show you:
- Why debt is a lie, cultivating a false prosperity that actually keeps you in bondage.
- The unforeseen consequences of being in debt.
- Positive consequences of developing an ownership mentality.
- The steps you need to take to develop an ownership mindset, and get rid of your debt mindset for good.
Debt is False Prosperity
You and I are constantly encouraged, through tons of marketing messages, to buy things we can't afford. We allow those messages in and put pressure on ourselves to own the latest and greatest stuff, even if we have to go into debt to buy it.
Easy monthly payments sound like a convenient option, but you soon find out those “easy” payments keep you in long term bondage. Too many of us don't think about the downsides of being in debt. After all, you have to have debt to make it in today's world, right?
No, you don't!
There are serious downsides to being in debt. Everybody knows about them, but not many want to do what it takes to avoid them in their own lives. Those downsides are problems like:
- Financial bondage
- Paying more for the things you want and need
- Living paycheck to paycheck
But why is debt such a stressful thing?
It’s because debt is a lie– especially consumer debt.
Debt creates a false prosperity that makes you feel wealthier than you actually are. It keeps you tied to your monthly payments, taking away your freedom for the promise of getting something now instead of later.
This false prosperity is contradiction that makes you feel successful while it sucks you dry financially. Nobody can live in that contradiction without the consequences rearing their ugly head.
The Consequences of Debt Mindset vs. Ownership Mentality
The Consequences of Being in Debt
Owning something and being in debt for it are two completely different ways of approaching your financial life.
When you owe money:
- You have more stress and worry in your life.
- You're at the mercy of the person/company that loaned you the money.
- You pay more because interest and fees are charged.
- Owing money limits your freedom. You always have to consider the effect your life choices have on your ability to pay off debt.
- Debt increases your financial risk.
The results of these consequences are:
- More stress means potential problems with depression, anger, relationships, health issues, etc.
- You are a slave to the lender.
- You are poorer. You spend more money on the things you buy with credit than if you had just paid cash.
- It's difficult to live the life you want because the more debt you have, the more limited your choices.
- Because of increased risk, you could end up in financial ruin when you lose a job, have a health problem, or some other unplanned risk rears its ugly head.
- It’s much harder to save and invest because debt payments come first.
- Life is more difficult.
The Consequences of Ownership
On the other hand, when you decide that actually owning your stuff is better, there are consequences to that way of life too.
When you own your stuff:
- You never spend more than you make because you pay cash.
- You have less money stress.
- There is less financial risk in your life.
- You are a slave to no one.
- You can give more freely.
- It's easier to save and invest your money and watch it grow.
- You have more money available because you’re not wasting it on interest and fees.
- You have more freedom to choose how to live your life.
- Life is better
How to Have an Ownership Mentality
So how do you make the transition from a debt mindset to an ownership mentality? The first thing you have to do is believe that consumer debt is a drain on your life. Believing you can never have nice things or a comfortable life without resorting to credit has to become a thing of the past.
Truth is, you CAN have nice things, but only if you can pay cash for them (yes, even a car!).
But you won't achieve it without changing the way you think about money and debt.
There Also Has to be a Change in Your Actions
You need to do a few things you haven’t done before:
- Decide it’s time to change your mindset from a debt mentality to an ownership mentality.
- Cut up your credit cards– you can’t stop owing money if you still use credit cards.
- Build an emergency fund– ditching the credit cards means you need a safety net of cash available for an emergency.
- Get out of debt- the only way to own what you have is to have no debt, period. Anyone can do it with a solid plan and some commitment. The CFF Online Course can help you with that.
The Real Owner
Of course, you also have to realize who really owns it all, and that is God. When you truly understand that, a shift starts to happen in your life. You understand that He will bless you when you are a good steward of what He has given you. When He knows He can trust you with that, He has no problem providing you with more.
That’s just the way God works!
In fact, ancient Jewish wisdom encourages each person to have an attitude of ownership toward everything in this world. Ownership comes with a responsibility and accountability to use those things wisely.
When you act like an owner, you get the benefits of ownership, and you'll live a more blessed life.
Question: Do you have an ownership mindset? If not, what do you think has held you back from developing that mindset?