Lifetime Debt - The New Normal

Preserving jars - time to take action me thinks!

Somehow or other, having consumer debt for an entire lifetime is now normal. How did that happen without anyone noticing? I know, right? Horrors!

My Fowlers Vacola set yet to
be used. 

Mobile (cell) phone plans seem to be the first debt that young adults cruise right into followed closely by a credit card. Both those alone are enough to keep a person in a lifetime of committed debt.

Next usually comes a car loan and later on a novated car lease. Car loans and leases are thoroughly sneaky things in that they can endure as a debt relay for our full working life.  Did you know the same amount of money thrown at  car lease/loans in a lifetime, if invested even conservatively, would amount to nearly $3,000,000.00 at retirement? Yep.

Some light reading before lunch p'haps.

Then there is the ubiquitous house mortgage where we pay top dollar for a fancy house to impress folk we do not even like and then redraw on the mortgage every 10-15 years to upgrade the kitchen and bathroom (all for resale value of course....snort!). Hopefully the mortgage gets paid by the time we retire  - fingers crossed.

Along the way we usually amass a second car loan, another credit card or two, perhaps a personal loan or two and maybe even get convinced to borrow money to invest in shares - lawks!

Extract of malt - puts hair on your chest according to my mother.

Some even scrape together a deposit for a so-called investment property and get a second mortgage and then brag about their negative gearing around beers and BBQ's - Ahem....pretty sure if you are negative gearing you are operating at a loss - (never mind me now).

It is so easy to get stitched up by the great consumer debt life-cycle without even noticing - it is the new normal.

Hot scones (biscuits) ready to consume with soup.

Simple solution for consumer debt folks - DON'T.

If you find yourself up to the eyeballs in consumer debt you will need to show real courage, make a plan, execute the plan and get out of debt as fast as you can.
It will be down right nasty to execute....but freedom is always worth fighting for hey?

Diluting hair conditioner

Again, very simply ... DDD.  (That means Don't Do Debt).

Take care folks and stay nice.



  1. Not a nice thing to live with, love this post.

  2. Yes-EXCELLENT advice. I wish my son would listen to it!
    Hubby and I have always avoided debt, paid cash for everything, and get by on just his meager pension. I guess a lot of folks think we're poor and perhaps we are, but wow--do we sleep well!
    Have a wonderful week

  3. Your mortgage is the killer, but then later in life you own your house so you reap the benefits.

  4. Wisdom and Truth in these words today.
    Blessings Gail.

  5. I personally don't mind having a mortgage debt, our mortgage repayments are less than what we would pay for rent around here, but consumer debt for cars and "stuff" now that is a bad deal.

  6. Actually Marlene, I used to think that too. Until I saw just how much a mortgage costs over your life compared to renting.
    If you invest the difference between rent and mortgage over the average home loan (25 years), you come out way ahead. At the end of 25 years, you buy a home in cash (probably will be a smaller home as kids would have grown and flown) plus all that time, you don't have to worry about house repairs/maintenance. This website has a great rundown:

    I agree that getting a credit card when I turned 18 was the worst financial mistake of my life. I've had some big blunders, oh yes, but this was the first step on the path towards making those mistakes.

    I will be teaching my children to never get into debt for anything.
    I am now teaching them money saving skills and frugality.
    I will encourage them to buy second hand everything. Cars, clothes, furniture. Yesterday we bought a 'new' couch for $40 that is in excellent condition. I told DS it would have cost about $800 brand new. Same thing with cars - $40,000 vs $10,000 a few years later. He was thrilled!

    I'll also teach them about building a tiny house, catching the bus or riding bikes everywhere, and going to TAFE instead of Uni (depending on what they want to do, of course). Oh and get them to read Mr. Money Mustache and Frugalwoods (if they're still around by then!)

    1. Investing the difference is absolutely the key.

  7. Love your comment on the solution to consumer debt- DON`T! I was always taught that,( apart from a mortgage) if you can`t afford to pay cash for it, then you can`t afford it.

  8. yep, it's the norm to be in debt to the eyeballs & over, love this post.
    can never work out how the negative gearing is supposed to work anyways? wouldn't you make more money on a rental if the house was paid for?
    great reading
    thanx for sharing

  9. We just have our mortgage which is manageable for us. I like that feeling of knowing that our mortgage won't be a lifetime debt. That it's a debt we can clear (hopefully a long time before we die) as long as we focus on what we need as opposed to what we want. Meg

  10. My daughter is just learning some of the pitfalls of debt. When she discovered the interest she was paying on her car loan there was much gnashing of teeth and a cry for help! We came to the rescue and she now pays off her car to us..interest free. A lesson has been learned I hope, about the benefits of saving up for the things you need.
    Aah - malt extract! Force fed to me as a child to "build me up"!
    "The Power of Now" - an inspirational read...

    1. Sometimes a little lesson from an experience like this can steel the mind for the future. Life is an excellent teacher.

  11. Great Post. We try to be careful with our money and currently have no debt and a lot of savings to put towards building our new house in NZ next year. We will then go back to having a mortgage but will work at paying it down as quickly as possible. In the mean time we keep adding to our savings.

  12. I have never understood the buying of cars brand new. The depreciation of vehicles is just astounding. But then we are not car people.

    Sometimes when I read your posts I think we must be living in very different circles, which makes for interesting thoughts. I wonder that because you are in the "business' world, that the keep up with the Jones's pressure is more common, the desire to look "successful" by the upgrading of belongings more evident. There is certainly that around here, but I would say it is the minority. It makes you think about the culture of a state, and community doesn't it?

    We are lucky to live in an area where house prices are really low. Which makes owning a home a more achievable and financially often quite a sensible decision. In Adelaide we would not be able to buy a 1 bedroom unit for the price we paid for our little cottage, let along in Sydney or Melbourne. I reckon we have about $20,000 mortgage on our little cottage, the rest is paid in full. We save and renovate as we go along, with the kitchen being the only thing we extended for, which we did on a tight budget, and is already paid off.

    We are happy to help take the Jones's 'old' things off their hands when they decide they need to upgrade! ;)


  13. Sound advice
    Ah malt extract ! a spoonful a day throughout the winter for my sister and I when we were small. I LOVE maltloaf tho' do you have such a thing over there?

    1. Hi Gill. No, I am not familiar with maltloaf...what is it?

  14. If people learn to live without a lot, they can be trusted with a little debt, if it has a practical purpose. Such as buying your own home or starting a business. It's best to know you can sock money away, before borrowing any. Because if you can't withhold money when it's your own, how will you go when borrowing someone else's?

    I agree not to go into debt, if you haven't even tested your own capabilities without it. But if you have and proven yourself to be an effective steward, then you can be trusted borrowing a little. Always with the intent of paying it off, rather than adding to it. :)


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