Financial Reality Checks ^_^

Sometimes a visualization is in order.

My brother sent me this on Facebook not too long ago, and I laughed for a few reasons.

1 – it’s adorable!
2 – it’s so freaking true!
3 – it’s hilarious.

Not being a big user of Facebook, I don’t really know what all the buttons do, so when I hit share – hoping an email option would come up – it posted to my timeline. This is fine. Maybe someone will see it and smile like I did.

However, a college classmate posted, “You know about the income-based repayment plan, right?”

Seriously? 😐 My first instinct is always to ignore people, but I couldn’t stand it and replied, “No. I don’t have any debt, I just think this is cute.” Not what I wanted to say – I wanted to say something snarky, but I haven’t seen her in a long time, and she clearly doesn’t get my sense of humor.

Debt is serious business though. And many people don’t realize that when they owe someone money – the bank owns their paycheck – whether they are paying interest on the money or not.

“I got 0% interest!” – Yeah? Think you still own that car though? Try missing a couple of payments and see how fast they take it from you. It’s why I always cringe a little when people want to give me kudos for being a homeowner. Yes, I am responsible for the inside of my townhouse – but I am fully aware that I am buying this right from the bank. I’ve paid the loan down about 15% and I have just a little bit more than that in equity. So, I like to call myself a partial owner of the house – like I’m the CEO and the mortgage company is the actual owner. Recently, the organization changed owners. As CEO – I don’t really have much of a say in this, though I suppose I could lobby for another bank to take on the loan.

So, I actually do have debt – making my reply to that girl completely false. One and a half paychecks a month go to my mortgage and homeowner association fees. I’m actually running the risk of being a little house poor as these bills account for 32% of my take home pay. This said, without any consumer or student loan debt, I only feel broke when the insurance is due, and even then, I know I’m not really broke. And I always appreciate being able to pay these bills without raiding my savings account.

With the cats as models, we can actually see first hand what debt does – it eats into your bottom line. Few things are more depressing then turning your hard earned dollars over to the bank. It makes it easy to see how people without any debt at all could save and give away some serious cash.

Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m writing a $1000 check to the Nashville Ballet, one of many that year. ^_^
One day… 😀 #financialgoals

The point isn’t to be depressed about it though. It’s to be informed and inspired to take action! So many people think they’re fine because they can float the payments and always dig themselves into a deeper hole when they need more money. The thing is, when you’re in debt, you’re one disaster away from sleeping in your great uncle’s station wagon when the bank comes for both your house AND your shiny car.

Let’s not be that person. Let’s keep more of our own money. 🙂

Hi ^_^