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Do You Have A Big But?

By Keith Rawlinson
Volunteer Budget Counselor

Having a "big but" is one common thing that holds you back and keeps you from getting ahead financially.  Not only does having a big but get in your way financially, it also serves as a indication that you either have a lot of financial stress in your life, or that you very soon will.

Now, before anyone gets upset or offended, notice that I said "big but,"  I didn't say "big butt."  Just to make sure that no one thinks I'm talking about anatomy here, let me explain what it means to have a big but:

Throughout the Eclectic Site's Financial Page, you will find many references to debt and how it is a terribly destructive force in our financial lives.  Technically, the definition of financial debt is owing money to another; however, it is not strictly the technical definition I'm referring to in this article.  In this article, I'm referring to the practical definition of debt:  

Debt means giving up something in the future, in order to have something else right now.  

That's exactly what debt really is.  When you borrow money, you are giving up a portion of your future income in order to make the payments on something you are buying right now.  In other words, the money you will spend in the future to make payments on your debt, is money you won't be able to spend on anything else.  This is called "opportunity cost."  Opportunity cost simply means that every time you spend money on something, that is money that you can't spend on something else.  So, if you are spending money on debt payments, that is money that won't be available for other things.

Opportunity cost means that debt will take away your freedom-of-choice in the future when all of those payments are due.  That is one of the biggest dangers with debt--you are taking away your ability to make choices in your future when you don't even know what your future will bring.  Most likely, your future will bring some wonderful opportunities, but you won't be able to take advantage of them because so much of your money will be going out in payments.  

Here's a simple test to see if you have a "Big But"

If you ever find yourself saying something like "I would love to be able to do that, but I have this big payment to make,"  then you have a big but!

Having a big but means that there are a lot of things you wish you could spend money on, but you have big payments to make.  Here are some examples of having a "big but:"

"I would love to buy a nicer car, but I still owe so much money on my old one."

"I wish I could go on a really nice vacation this year, but I'm still trying to pay off last year's vacation."

"I would really love to quit my job and stay home to raise my kids, but I have a big mortgage payment."

"I would love to have money set aside for emergencies, but I have car payments to make."

"I wish I could buy a house (car, boat, stereo, wide-screen television), but no money is left after I make all of my payments."

"I really want to save and invest to become wealthy some day, but I have so many credit card payments."

Now you know what it means to have a big but.

And if you do have a big but, it will always get in your way financially.  The more debt payments you have and the bigger those payments are, the more you will find those debt payments getting in the way of your ability to make choices for yourself, your family and your future.  So, how do you deal with a big but?  Simple, you get rid of it!  And you get rid of big buts by becoming debt free.  As you pay off and eliminate debts from your life, you will find that you have more and more money left over for other things, and having money left over means having choices.  If you are completely out of debt, you can afford to buy cars, boats, motorcycles, jet skis and ATV's.  You can afford to buy a bigger house, go on trips and nice vacations.  And most importantly, if you are out of debt and have no payments to make, you can save and invest at an unbelievable rate and become wealthy!

When you don't have a big but, you can buy things and do things that your friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances just can't afford--you can afford to live like other people can't and you have choices in your life that other people don't.

Don't let a big but rob you of your future.  Don't let a big but cause you all kinds of financial stress. Don't let a big but keep you from getting ahead or becoming wealthy.  Read and study everything you find on Eclecticsite.com's Financial Page and put it into practice in your own life.  It's not easy and it takes a lot of time and determination, but it sure is worth it.  If you haven't read it yet, start with The Secret To Becoming Wealthy.

Please know that all of the thoughts, information, suggestions and techniques given on this site are nothing more than the author's opinion on the matter being addressed.  Do further research before making any decisions.

This article copyright 2007 by Keith C. Rawlinson (Eclecticsite.com).  All rights reserved.

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