Don't you think that the world is an interesting place to live? So many things to observe and experience. One thing that I've noticed is that as I get older it's easier to recognize patterns and truths.
For instance, my father firmly believed in not being in debt. For anything. At any time. He was a child of the depression and took those lessons with him. When I was in my 20's I took his advice seriously, but I wasn't as opposed to debt as I am now. Years of working with people who struggle because of their debts have taught me something.
Notice that I'm not saying that you should never borrow money under any circumstances. There are times that it's almost necessary. Like buying your first home. Very few of us can save enough to pay cash the first time out. But, borrowing 95 or 100% of the home value probably isn't too wise. Especially with a variable rate mortgage.
I know of many observers who predicted a housing crisis back in 2003. Sure they were smart, but more importantly they were observers of what had happened in the past. They knew that housing prices had dropped many times in the past. And that interest rates can go up, too.
I've also noticed that it's very hard to always run a small balance on your credit cards. It seems that people who are carrying a balance either see it go up each month, or they're actively paying it down. Rarely does a person/family carry the same balance for years. I don't really know why that is, but it does seem to be true.
Another pattern that generally holds true is that when the amount of debt continually increases it begins to crowd out other necessary items and the rate of increase tends to accelerate. Last year you were adding $50 per month to the amount owed. This year it's $100. Next year... That part is very understandable. The interest owed continues to consume an ever larger part of income. Meaning that you buy more of your monthly expenses on credit.
The lesson I've taken from seeing these patterns is that an increasing debt load is dangerous and can quickly become painful. The best time to change direction is right now. It will only become harder as time goes by. And, if I choose not to solve the problem today or tomorrow, at some point my lenders will force me to face the problem when I can't pay what I owe.
So if I continue to preach against debt (be it private or public), please forgive me. Understand it's because I've noticed patterns and have observed where those patterns lead. Plus, I hate seeing people in pain because they thought that debt was harmless. It's not.
Keep on Stretching those Dollars!