Paying Off Debt as a Survival Strategy

We live in perhaps the most financially complicated age in history.

Never before have people needed to be educated about so many different financial topics just to stay afloat.

There are all types of complicated investments, every kind of insurance you can imagine, credit scores to worry about, and various types of debt that can have serious long-term ramifications for the debtors.

Not only that, our financial system is built entirely on deception and debt. In the U.S., each dollar represents a debt, and therefore dollars are not actually real money. (This is why the dollars in your wallet say “Federal Reserve Note” — a “note” is a debt.)

Ever since 1913, the system has been designed to oppress the average American while making the privileged few wealthy. The deck has been stacked against you.

Nevertheless, financial literacy is critical if you want to survive the years ahead.

Right now, I’m personally working on paying off my debts. I made great progress from 2006-2009, then had some setbacks the last few years (mostly due to pregnancy-related hospital bills).

As long as I have debts hanging over me, it’s harder to make meaningful progress. The friction of interest eats up hundreds of dollars a year.

To combat this, I’ve done a complete accounting of our monthly expenses. I’ve put them all in a spreadsheet and categorized them. I’ve already eliminated many monthly expenses and I’m working on eliminating even more.

I’m also consolidating debt to make it easier to reduce balances.

And I’m using Mint.com (for personal finances) and OutRight.com (for business finances) to streamline the tracking of budgets and expenses. Both services are free.

It’s never fun to deal with financial issues, especially if you already know (or suspect) things aren’t good.

But you must look at the issues anyway. Facing your financial problems is the first step toward overcoming them.

Minimizing and eliminating debts will be key to surviving (and thriving) in the months and years ahead.

Don’t be scared. Be prepared.
-Survival Joe