One of man’s greatest challenges is debt. Some individuals, companies, governments, and nations have found themselves in a vicious cycle of debts. It’s worse at the individual level. But the good news is that if you’re one of those entangled in debt, you can be free from it. If you aren’t caught up, you can also permanently stay out of it.

However you look at it, there’s no dignity in being a debtor. When Benjamin Franklin, a U.S statesman and scientist said that, “He that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing,” he was demonstrating wisdom that is from above, far more than the conventional wisdom of men. Conventional wisdom says that debt is what makes the world go round. This thinking makes individuals, companies, governments and nations borrow money. Borrowing without paying back is what makes individuals and corporate bodies debtors.

There are many reasons why you should stay out of debt. Proverbs 22:7 says that “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Habitual borrowers remain servants for life. Debts rob people of their self-respect and esteem. When you owe you don’t have a voice. The public looks at chronic debtors as people who can’t really plan their lives and finances.

The only debt that makes sense is the one an experienced entrepreneur or corporate entity borrows to invest with the intention to make more money. Often such debts are paid up and on time too.

What is debt, after all? Encarta defines it as a state or condition of owing something to somebody. When people owe, most often they’re financially in debt.

If you really want to stay out of debt, you have to do the following.

(1) You must reject the conventional wisdom that says that debt makes the world go round. As long as you believe that debt is a part and parcel of life, that you can’t make it without owing, then you’ll continue to owe. Our thoughts will always attract to us conditions that are akin to those thoughts. If you believe in debts as a way for survival, life will present many opportunities of borrowing to you.

(2) Discipline yourself to save. The saving habit or lifestyle is consciously developed. This has nothing to do with your level of income. Whether your income is fat or small, it takes discipline to save. In life, know that once in a while, there will be the day of adversity, period of some setback. It could be sickness, business downturn, job loss, or whatever. If you deliberately saved, your savings will act as a cushion for you to survive the period. It is in such difficult times those who didn’t habitually save run into the problem of borrowing to survive.

(3) Don’t buy things on credit: Credit card is the undoing of most people. They buy virtually everything on credit. Particularly, those who buy on impulse don’t mind using their credit cards always. In a way, credit cards are the womb debts are formed. Buying on credit is a form of borrowing. When you use credit card, you’re simply deferring or postponing payment. To borrow is to receive money as loan, something you’ll pay back, perhaps with interest. This is how I explain credit and debt:

                             CREDIT                  DEBT

                   C arrying                D eferment            
R eal                     E ventually   
E vil                       B ecomes              
D ay                      T roublesome
I nto
T omorrow.

Credit may not appear dangerous or injurious now, but its adverse effects are always very glaring in the future.

(4) Make purchases with cash or cheques: Buy things according to your means, the money you have at hand or in the bank. You always have enough money for what you need, not what you want. Why I’m sure is because, “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

(5) If you owe, commit to beginning to pay the debt: Your debts will never develop wings and fly away. They’re always there until you do something about them. You must develop a plan to pay back and start right away to implement that plan consistently. Bit by bit, you’ll reduce it to a small size that will surprise you.

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