Debt Monkey: The New American Birthright

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” William Shakespeare, from Hamlet/

My siblings and I compared levels of indebtedness yesterday. While my older brother, who lives in England, seems to have a good handle on his debt, those of us on this side of the pond are not fairing as well. We each owe tens of thousands of dollars, mostly for student loans and mortgages.

Apparently, we are not alone. A quick scroll through my Facebook newsfeed, will find at least one of my friends talking about how much they owe, or how much they are attempting to pay back. A quick search on the internet landed these statistics from

Average credit card debt: $15,609
Average mortgage debt: $156,706
Average student loan debt: $32,956 (
Debt has become a way of life in our society. In order to own a home, most people have to get a mortgage. It’s almost impossible to attend a college or university without having to get a student loan. Most of us borrow money to buy cars, and some of us, (Lord, help us) are using credit cards for our day to day expenses. This is a frightening trend.

Economists would say that not all debt is bad. In theory, I understand that. But I’m no economist. I’m just a girl that feels like I’ll be paying back student loans until I retire.

Debt is burdensome. It is just another thing we have chosen to carry. (Technically, we did choose to go into debt, though to most of us, it didn’t feel like it. The majority of us did not have the resources to pay for college or homes with cash. So we took the only other option.)

Indebtedness has become a way of life for so many of us. But just as getting into debt is a choice, so is getting out of it.

While getting into debt usually requires just a few signatures, getting out of debt requires much more, including making changes in habits and making sacrifices.

i am looking forward to the day when I am neither a borrower, nor a lender. So… If you owe me money pay me back and I’ll be halfway there!😊

2 thoughts on “Debt Monkey: The New American Birthright

  1. This is a topic that is VERY close to my heart. I managed not to start down the path of student loan debt until I set out to complete my doctorate. If you asked me if it was really worth it looking back now, I would have to say no. However, what’s done is done and now I just have to work my way out of it. Now that I’m in the position of getting ready to sell my first house, I have a VERY different perspective on buying another house via a mortgage loan. My life is very different now that it was when I bought my first house. I have aggressively worked to get my retirement account built up so compound interest is on my side. Now that I’m renting again it’s amazing how much less stress I feel about making a mortgage payment. (I mean we’re still on the hook for the mortgage until we actually SELL the house but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel). We don’t have kids, cost of living is VERY affordable where we live now. I’m seriously considering NOT buying another house for awhile and killing some of this debt. I can even see setting aside money in savings so that IF we decide to buy another house (and I think we will) that we will have at least half of the money in cash to put toward the purchase. I HATE debt. It makes me sick to my stomach knowing that I owe money to someone. I want it ALL gone, ESPECIALLY the student loan debt. I’ve already decided that my children will NOT accrue debt in the pursuit of their higher education (not while I insure them anyway). We will figure it out through dependent benefits, scholarships, grants and prudent investments that their father and I will begin making very soon. We will also be sensible in helping guide them to schools that we can afford and showing them how to get everything that they need. Similarly with homes, we’re going to show them how to live within their means. If that means buying a small condo over a 3 bed 2 bath house on their first home then so be it. Debt is not a legacy I will allow to spread into my descendants.


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