Everyone Wants You To Be In Debt

Everyone Wants You To Be In Debt

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We have made mistakes in the past, but so has everyone else and it is important to not only learn from your mistakes but from others too (hint hint). It only took buying one car new to realize how stupid it was and not to make that mistake again. This was also before we had gotten our financial act together. We paid the car off early and thought that mistake was behind us until I recently got a letter in the mail from the dealership. This is when I realized everyone wants you to be in debt.


It isn’t just car dealerships but banks, the government, and your friends/loved ones. The first two were obvious but you didn’t see that last one coming did you? Yes, everyone. You aren’t normal for wanting to be debt free. Debt is synonymous with the modern American Dream Trap.

My sister was having issues with her car so in order to fix the situation she junked the old one and bought a brand new car. I didn’t entirely see her logic in that one but you can liken it to any consumer good nowadays (read: cell phone). She was so proud of the purchase she took a picture and sent it to me, with the tagline “got the other car painted too.” I was concerned so I responded, “oh no did it get in an accident?” To which she responded, “haha no it’s new too.” #facePalm

The only fault with the other car was it was “too old.” (My car is far older)

I know our minimalism has rubbed off on my family but so far our financial practices haven’t.

Mr. BoaS you were talking about Dealerships

Let us help you stay in debt!

Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me, back to the Camry. Let’s examine this flyer that was sent to the BoaS household. The dealership is first trying to scare you by reminding you the warranty is expired. I’m sure this gets most people right off the bat. Every time I hear someone justify a new car is because “you don’t have to worry about it breaking.” Modern cars are far more stable and reliable than cars 20-30 years ago. You don’t have to worry as much about a slightly used car and in fact, Consumer Reports warns you about buying new cars for reliability sake.

Now that they have set the mood to “worry” they go in for your wallet. Our payment would ONLY go up $24 AND we would get a new car! WHAT. A. DEAL! Not to mention we wouldn’t need to hand over any cash on the spot. I don’t know about you but that is way too good to be true because it is.

They are essentially trapping you in more debt for longer. You may have finally been able to remove your gap insurance and now you will be buying new gap insurance. (Gap insurance is when you are underwater on your car. It is insurance that supplements what your normal collision insurance policy would pay out.)

Little do they know we paid off the car back in 2016 so we would be going from no payment to having debt again. Not the best move if you are trying to be financially independent.

How Do I Make It Stop?

You aren’t going to be able to stop the onslaught of people trying to get you into debt or expecting you to be in debt. Banks aren’t going to stop sending you credit card or loan offers (although you can stop that). The government can’t even remove the mortgage interest deduction and you certainly can’t force people to change their minds.

The best thing you can do is surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Listening to podcasts like ChooseFI or Dave Ramsey will keep you motivated to stay out of debt. Hanging out on the Rockstar Finance Forums is a great place to get answers and see what others are doing. Finally, there is no shortage of books you can read too like The Millionaire Next Door or Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life.

Above all else is to watch your step because there are lots of pitfalls on this journey but they are easy to avoid if you know the signs and you don’t have to do this alone.

Who keeps expecting you to be in debt? Do you keep getting haunted by past financial mistakes?

24 thoughts on “Everyone Wants You To Be In Debt

  1. So true. One of my first “ah-ha” moments in personal finance came when a friend of my husband (then boyfriend) announced over dinner “Pretty much all Americans will be in debt forever, it’s just how it is.”

    I was newly graduated from college, with student and car debt, but that statement bugged me. I was trying to pay off the debt and could not imagine just resigning myself to debt for the rest of my life. No way.

    That conversation motivated me to get into personal finance, so I owe a lot to that guy who thought everyone is in debt forever…
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  2. Yes! Eeeeeveryone wants you to have debt. Heck, even friends and family want you to have debt. I still get funny looks when I tell people we’re almost debt-free. Debt is the norm, and anything beyond that is weird and unknown.

    1. I try not to bring it up around family because it is too much of a weird concept. I’ve seen people understand progressive social change easier than saving and being debt free!

  3. Great post! I get those expired warranty notices for my car and they drive me nuts! I also get frustrated with how credit cards are pushed on us constantly, even if you opt out of mailings. I can’t seem to go to a store, or get on a plane, without being asked if I’d like to sign up for their card.

  4. I agree. It’s staggering how many people will advice you to go deep into debt. Every time my father calls me, there is always concern about why we haven’t bought a house yet and how the market is running away from us. Sheesh. I’m happy with only a small student loan at the moment and the chance to save a good chunk, thanks!

    1. ahhh I see what you did there ;P. I feel like I should write them back and tell them we are driving the car into the ground and they don’t need to waste the money on mailing that stuff.

    1. Ohh that’s an interesting take on it. The car companies aren’t so innocent either. Their commercials are 2 hairs away from emotional blackmail. -If you get this car, people will like you and your children will love you more. Etc.-

  5. My current car was a new car, but I am going to drive this one into the ground. I cringe now when I see posts from family and friends on Facebook proudly displaying their new car and proclaiming how their payments are the same or lower. They don’t get it and I won’t explain their flawed logic in fear of raining on their parade.

    1. I feel like buying a new car is one of those mistakes you only need to make once but sometimes it takes a couple of times.
      My payments are far less than everyone else ($0) ?

    1. I don’t know if I am phased by any commercials anymore. Probably helps I don’t watch live TV. I laugh at the Lexus commercials because of the big red bow and don’t talk about the cars, just about how you need one and so do your kids.

  6. Our mechanic had an interesting observation about the whole new car phenomenon, and it’s a rather sad commentary on the state of affairs in our country.

    Apparently, a whole lot of people can’t come up with $500 or $600 to repair an older vehicle, so they go out and buy a new one because they (think) they can afford the lower payment.

    Of course, that lower payment goes on and on, month after month…thousands of dollars that COULD have been used to build an emergency fund. But people just don’t get it.

    With respect to advertising, I took a course in that subject years ago. The number one emotion advertisers use to get your money is fear. Also right at the top of the list is being a member of the “in” club if you buy whatever they’re hawking. Next time you watch TV, sit back and observe how often these 2 come up. It’s a fascinating exercise!

    1. Holy honest mechanic! I’m not surprised by his observation at all. You can’t go a month without some news article about people don’t have an emergency fund and can’t pay for unexpected costs.
      I might have to sit through some commercials and see the emotion they are trying to put in the viewer.

  7. I’m so thankful that debt has never been a given in my family (and my husband’s parents paid their house off before they even had kids, so you can probably guess how they feel about debt). I definitely got plenty of the “oh just replace it” when my old car had some repairs come up.

    1. We discussed for a long long time if it was cost effective to replace my car with our “new to us” leaf. You only need to make the mistake of buying a brand new car once ?.

      I can’t wait until we knock out the mortgage and be completely debt free.

  8. I made the mistake of financing a new car once, but thankfully I paid that off LONG ago (six years now, I think). I still drive that car, though. At over ten years, it’s now the longest I’ve ever owned a car.

    The only “past financial mistake” I’m currently “haunted by” is stupid student loans. I don’t regret the education, and even some of the student loans. It’s just I took the max I was allowed for the loans, and not the minimum I needed. In short, I took out too much in student loans.

    They’re quickly getting paid off, though!
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