Building a Strong Financial Foundation – Avoiding Debt in Midlife

Introduction – A debt story

Pay off what you owe only to accumulate more of it because everything is constantly rising. Your credit card company offers to increase your limit; you sigh and accept their offer after all it’s the only way to keep your head above water this month. Your gas bill is staring at you from the computer screen. Bold red numbers, drawing closer almost jumping out at you. Even though your bill due date hasn’t lapsed, the gas company is heckling you to pay, sending you multiple emails weekly. You use half the wattage compared to the same time last year and your bill is double what it used to be. You are now very good at reading and scanning these bills, all of them. Tiny pennies reading away, standing charges seeming to rise every quarter, bread prices slowly creeping up on you so that they are now almost double what you remember they used to be. To help yourself, you trade your favorite brands for store-owned value brands.

It would all work out you convince yourself. You accept the limit increase offer and pile on more debt. Your salary hits your account; you quickly pay off Peter to rob Paul. You see the 0% juicy deal to transfer balances. You transfer your current credit card balance with good intentions to pay it off before the 18-month timeline. At least a breather, a bit of relief from all the pressures you’ve had lately. The next 18 months creep by slowly, it brings with it even more expenses, rising costs, and a mortgage payment dancing upwards.

Now you’ve got even more debt, like a disease it spreads, first harmlessly then holding you by the neck. Heckling at you like those gas companies, sneakily rising on you like the bread prices, taking a yet bigger hold on your life. At this point, you are not in a job you love, but you can’t explore or quit because you need it to stay afloat, you need it to pay your bills; you need to pay off this debt!

You remember your dreams of adult life, the things you said you’d do, the places you said you’d go see, the life you promised to yourself. The chills are coming again; they are rising within you just like the price of everything around you.

This friend is the debt trap we can all easily fall into. Debt can be devastating; and can cause a disaster in a seemingly great life. It can be a great stressor, taking the joy out of everyday living.

During a recession, interest rate expenses are higher which makes keeping control of debts difficult. Keeping debt on par with income is a constant juggle a lot of people would have to manage and master. With the current debt debate, crashing banks, governments, and corporations are not spared the act of balancing debt.

Debt has become an all too common part of our lives. From student loans to credit card debt, it seems like everyone is carrying some form of financial burden. While debt may seem like a necessary evil, it is important to understand why avoiding it should be a priority.

The Burden of Debt

Debt can quickly become a heavy burden that weighs us down both financially and emotionally. When we owe money to creditors, we are essentially giving away our future income to pay for past expenses. This can limit our financial freedom and hinder our ability to achieve our goals.

Not only does debt restrict our financial options, but it also adds stress to our lives. Constantly worrying about making payments, dealing with high-interest rates, and the fear of falling behind can take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. Avoiding debt can help alleviate these burdens and provide a sense of financial security.

The Cost of Debt

One of the main reasons to avoid debt is the cost associated with it. When we borrow money, we are essentially paying for the privilege of using someone else’s money. Interest rates can quickly add up, and the longer it takes to pay off the debt, the more we end up paying in interest.

For example, let’s say you have a credit card with a balance of $5,000 and an interest rate of 20%. If you only make the minimum payment each month, it could take you years to pay off the debt, and you would end up paying thousands of dollars in interest alone. By avoiding debt and paying for purchases upfront, you can save yourself from these additional costs.

Financial Freedom and Flexibility

Avoiding debt is crucial for achieving financial freedom and flexibility. When we are burdened with debt, our financial options become limited. We may be forced to take on jobs we don’t enjoy or delay important life milestones, such as buying a home or starting a family.

By avoiding debt, we can take control of our financial situation and have the freedom to make choices that align with our goals and values. We can save for the future, invest in our education or business, and have a safety net for unexpected expenses. This financial flexibility allows us to live life on our own terms.

Building a Strong Financial Foundation

Avoiding debt is not just about the short-term benefits; it is about building a strong financial foundation for the long term. By living within our means and avoiding unnecessary debt, we can establish good financial habits that will serve us well throughout our lives.

Instead of relying on credit cards or loans to fund our lifestyle, we can focus on saving and investing for the future. This can lead to greater financial security, increased wealth, and the ability to weather financial storms.


Debt may seem like a necessary part of life, but it is important to understand the negative impact it can have on our financial well-being. By avoiding debt, we can alleviate financial stress, save money on interest payments, and have the freedom and flexibility to pursue our goals. So, let’s make a conscious effort to live within our means, prioritize saving, and build a strong financial foundation for a brighter future.

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