Yes, this is part of a real email I got from my employer’s 401(K) provider. I tried to read the whole article but after reading the first two sentences I just had to stop. The article first promises something that is almost impossible to do: manage debt and save. I always am puzzled as to what the phrase, “manage debt,” actually means. But after working with people for over five years on getting a better handle on their money, the best way to maximize your savings and to ensure that you will stick with savings over the long term is to become debt free first. But that isn’t really fun to tell people because we want to believe that our debt isn’t preventing us from saving and that we can save sufficiently without having to go through the hassle of becoming debt free first.
After that opening statement the next sentence might be one of the most depressing sentences I’ve read in a long time. I think they forgot to put the word “almost” in front of everyone. Yes, it’s true that most people have debt of some kind, but not everyone does. If you’ve read this blog for long you know that I believe that you can pay off your existing debt and live a debt free lifestyle, and I’m not the only one who believes that and lives that out in their finances.
I guess the thing that gets me and made me write a response to that article is that the article is spreading the belief that debt is a way of life and will always be. “You’ll always have a car payment,” “your student loan will be there forever,” and “you have to use credit to build wealth,” are myths out there that aren’t true and believing them will cost you large sums of money.
But what do you say? Do you believe you’ll always have some kind of debt for as long as you live? If so, why do you believe that? If not, why do you believe something that is so counter culture? Feel free to share your thoughts below.