This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’ve thought about it a lot.
It’s uncommon for people to discuss debt with feelings of fondness. Most of the time, they wish they had never taken on such large amounts – whether it be for a newer car or a fancy college degree, and possibly even a mortgage. Most often – debt and regret go hand in hand.
I admit, I have my fair share of debt. I’ve made no secret how much we owe and where our highest interest rates are. However, unlike most PF bloggers, I look at my debt as more than just chains. My debt was a way to a better life. My student loans helped me get a degree. My car loan gave me a reliable and safe ride to work everyday. My husband’s car loan – the same. Our credit card debt paid for some “wants” we don’t regret – such as a new mattress and our beautiful wedding. We’ve kept our debt manageable.
I Joined the Military Because of Debt
Now, that’s not to say it was always so. We were struggling before I joined the military. At that time, I hated our debt. It was suffocating us because we weren’t making much money. Our debt is one of the biggest reasons I enlisted. I joined because I wasn’t happy in my career field and the pay wasn’t enough to give me what I wanted. I didn’t want to go the freelance route, and the easiest career change came in the form of the Air Force.
With this change came less regret towards the money I owed. I realized that my debt had actually been a positive force in my life, propelling me to strive harder, do better, and push myself to be successful in every endeavor. The truth is,
Once you start making REAL money and paying off REAL debt (not just an extra $10), it changes you.
Look at how many people changed their life because of their debt. Would they have done that if they hadn’t buried themselves so deep? Probably not. They might have continued to live discontent, paying just the minimums.
I’m not saying that people should jump into debt because it’s not a big deal. It very much is a big deal and I look forward to being nearly debt-free, though my priorities have changed a bit since enlisting. Still, I am proud of what my debt has done to and for me.
My debt gave me a degree – which later allowed me to enlist in the military three ranks up with higher pay. As I said earlier, it’s the main reason I joined the Air Force, which has been one the best decisions I’ve ever made. Even though I’m not currently “using” that degree that I paid so much for, it’s still a Bachelor’s, meaning I can jump right into a FREE Master’s program that will allow me to make more than I was before if I choose to get out of the Air Force when my enlistment ends.
There are a lot of positives that come with debt…
…if you choose to see it that way. I’ve spent the last several months trying to change my outlook to be more positive, and seeing my debt in a different light was the first step. It’s helped too. I feel happier. I know we will pay it off in time. I am trying to be honest with myself and see how awesome our life is now – all directly and indirectly affected by our debt. It may not be the right mindset, but it is helping me be happier and more positive. This is why I’ve chosen to no longer regret our debt.
How do you feel about your debt? Do you hate everything about it – or do you try to see it in a different light?