Debt is a serious problem in the United States. The national debt is now around $20 trillion (that is 20 and 12 zeroes behind it). College students can borrow up to six figures to earn a degree. This is a very big deal for new college students, because they graduate with a ton of debt that hampers their ability to get ahead in life. Earning some extra money in spare time can help toward paying off debts and help debtors start to get ahead in their finances.
Debt That’s Not Bad
Some debt can be necessary or even advisable. Few people will be able to buy a house with cash, for example. Additionally, a home mortgage makes quite a bit of sense in many parts of the country because the monthly expense incurred in buying a decent starter home can cost much less than the monthly rent payment. Buyers can recoup much of the money pay into a mortgage, but they only enrich others by renting. Borrowing a little bit to get a degree in engineering or nursing might make sense because of the increased income possibilities that will be available after earning the degree.
There is debt that is pretty useless, however. Buying a Starbucks coffee on credit is not the best financial move by any stretch of the imagination. Rather than paying $5, the cost might wind up being double when the interest involved in paying off the card is added in. A $10 cup of coffee would have to be very, very good to justify the expense.
In thinking of biblical finances, the Scriptures talk about debt and the crippling effect that it his on the lives of those who owe. Proverbs 22:7 (ESV) notes:
7 The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
While many people think that people are poor because of some fault of their own, this is not necessarily the case. However, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who is poor that has power over any government nationwide. Poor people don’t tend to run major companies. This is not saying anything against the poor, it is just saying that they have less control over their lives.
Debt Literally Led To Slavery
In the day that the author wrote the proverb, the borrower could very well wind up a slave of the lender. Selling oneself into slavery to pay off a debt was fairly common in the ancient world. Debtor’s prisons were even common (for the poor) in early American history. Those who owed money traditionally had several negative consequences that could come about. Today, there is the possibility of negative aspects of bankruptcy, and filing for bankruptcy hurts the ability to get certain jobs and definitely hampers the ability to get credit in the future.
For these reasons, you should keep debt to a minimum. Teens as young as 13 can take some of the tips offered on this site to start making some additional money to get a good start, and adults can start making a few bucks a day to help with monthly finances. Both those who want to pay off debt and those who want to stay out of debt can benefit by trying to earn money in pajamas from home in their spare time.
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