Too many Americans have committed themselves to structural debt. That is, they structural their lives around acquiring debt. More accurately, they structure their lives around acquiring things — material things and experiential things — that cost them debt.
What is one of the first things a young person does when she begins the transition to adulthood? Goes into debt to acquire a car. What comes next? Going into debt to acquire an education. What do you need for an education? A computer you cannot afford. College students and recent grads in our ultra-connected, globalized world should travel. There are credit cards for that European vacation. Time to settle down; what do you need? Furnishings you have no savings for. It’s about time for a new car . . . loan. Got to buy, uh that is, charge some work clothes so that you look professional. Time to get out of that “starter home.”
The availability of credit (i.e. debt) allegedly makes first world countries prosperous. In practice the availability of credit has created a situation where people in “prosperous” countries structure their lives around debt. It is fair to question whether this really is prosperity.
Thankfully, our commitment to structural debt is mostly a choice. It is possible to choose not to participate, not to structure our lives around debt. That decision to orient our lives so that we reject indebtedness is no easy task. It takes a rejection of a consumerist mindset. It can be done.
Structure your life around simplicity and you will be free from debts.