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For a stretch of over twenty years I never really considered debt a four-letter word. You know the type I mean. Those coarse, offensive type you start using as a teenager to seem cool around your friends.
I always viewed debt as a necessity, a way to get things I didn’t have the cash for immediately. Having a fifteen-thousand-dollar piece of plastic in my pocket felt powerful. My embossed name and member since on the front of the card made me feel important.
The monthly payments were not a problem. A few hundred dollars to have access to a credit line of fifteen-thousand that was a trade-off I was willing to take.
While that single card was not the problem, it did lay the foundation for the start of bad behavior that would be repeated over and over again.
Hundreds and hundreds of transactions and overspending over four more cards, a with larger credit lines and all with their own minimum payments. That few hundred-dollar payment now ballooned to almost two thousand per month.
That’s just a math snapshot of the debt, it doesn’t tell the story of the stress, fear and fights the debt caused. The feeling of powerfulness now turned to weakness, and the importance felt like embarrassment.
The word debt was now starting to feel like those other four-letter words. Those I often used in my youth and now as a dad would never think of using in front of my own children. It was time for a change, time to take responsibility, time to clean up the mess this little four-letter word had caused.