I for one am a huge proponent of on-going learning. Whether reading a non-fiction book attending finance seminars, scouring the net and finding articles and posts on personal finance, I am all about learning something new and continually feeding my mind. This past week I attended a personal finance session that more or less covered the basics: plan to save, plan to retire, plan to budget – along with a few things in between.
I figure if I can walk away either learning one new thing that I didn’t know before, or get a pulse reading on how others in the room are feeling about personal finance, that it was worth my time. I entered the session with my notepad out and ready to learn. Content wise there was nothing ground breaking presented. The speaker talked about the importance of savings, needs vs. wants, and envisioning retirement. So in this session what stoked my interest was the temperature in the room.
From the onset the mood was tense. Some questions were asked and emphasized and I again began to realize there are a lot of hurting families out there. They are worried about how to retire with dignity, cover healthcare costs, sent their kids to college and of course manage their perceived crushing student loans.
Empathy oozed out of me as I sat in the back of the room and watched and listened to the presenter field these questions. It almost struck me as if many people in the room had not recovered emotionally from the market crash of 2008, but that’s just my opinion.
It then began to make me proud that this blog exists. That I am exhilarated to be the voice who says you can live debt free in the 21st century, plan to pay cash for a home, plan to retire with millions, give like no one else and not make an exorbitant income. Then it happened.
The topic of debt management was on a slide and immediately the feel of the entire room perked up from dire straits to high energy. The very same people who were worried about sending their kids to college, saving for retirement and outliving their money, suddenly turned into sophisticated financial snobs. The room talked about how wise and smart they are and it is to own credit cards and carry levels of debt throughout their lives. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see those that were struggling with their own personal finances, accept all of the debt myths as facts and not even piece together that there is a direct correlation between the two.
At first I was disappointed, then sad, and now encouraged. I’m encouraged that this blog is my voice out in the world declaring that I am building wealth and financial security without debt. No credit cards, no student loans, no car loans and no mortgage is how I am living my life all the way through to the end. And with each passing quarter my net worth is building and building and the core component of that is becoming and staying debt free. So consider me extra motivated to keep posting here as proof that wealth is best built without debt and that if I can do it, believe me you, definitely can too following the same principles Dave Ramsey teaches.