A Life Without Debt: Saying Screw The Budget

A friend of mine who, like me, has always lived a debt free life recently ran into a perfect storm of disasters. He was diagnosed with an illness and, despite having good medical coverage, ended up with bills that threatened to eat up much of his non-retirement savings. As if that weren’t bad enough, he went through that period we all know: The time when every appliance in the house opts to die, one right after the other and then the roof leaks, to boot. Then he had some other major expenses crop up, his wife lost her job, and before he knew it, everything he had was just about gone, except for his retirement accounts which he was trying desperately not to touch. He was taking extra wo


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8 Responses to A Life Without Debt: Saying Screw The Budget

  1. jb says:

    Debt is like playing with fire! I would avoid it at all costs. I really can’t make someone else’s decision for them though. It’s up to each person to realize that they alone will be carrying the burden of the debt. If they are OK with that then they should do it.

  2. Broken Arrow says:

    That is a very good point about debt in perspective….

    I too would have agreed that taking on debt to go to vacation would have been a worth it.

    I think the real question here is, “What is your money REALLY buying you?”

    For example, if a vacation is nothing more than something someone does annually, and going into debt for it doesn’t give that much back to you in terms of experience, then it’s not worth it. On the other hand, if you are terminally ill, and you’re going into debt to fulfill a lifelong dream of a vacation, I think that is entirely something else.

    Your friend went through a lot. In this case, the cruise would not be a frivolous thing, wasted on sheer want of excess. Instead, he’s badly in need a temporary escape and peace of mind, and I am sure he would cherish every moment of that experience.

    As much as we are all motivated to be and stay financially healthy, I think we also recognize that money is only a means to an end, and not the end itself.

    Now, that’s still no excuse to be frivolous with money, but it does mean to save and spend our money in meaningful ways.

  3. JonatsGonats says:

    Screw the budget. But make sure you are on your way to getting wealthier by the month as well. Having a budget increases our war chest allocation for investment and business. Throwing that way, we should have ample amount of savings to get by.

  4. Absolutely!

    Your mental health and family relationships are more important than money, especially if it’s credit card debt. Remember, unsecured credit card debt doesn’t threaten any of your other assets.

    Most people who read this blog/site are too ‘responsible’ and too careful. Take a second and enjoy your success every once in a while!

    Remember, you can’t take it with you, and your kids don’t deserve it.

  5. Gail says:

    Especially with everything else, when you have a physical problem thrown in, you realize how some things don’t matter as much. I got to take a cruise in 1990 and I’m so glad I did as I don’t have the physical health to ever again look towards a vacation, so I’m glad I can look backwards on the traveling I did when I was younger.

    That being said, when you feel lousy it is hard to stick with a budget and just the time you need to as much as possible. Kind of hard to pick up overtime when you can’t go to work at all!

  6. How about this old saying “It doesn’t matter how much you owe if you’re never going to pay it anyway!” A person with serious health problems might easily fall into that situation.

    John DeFlumeri Jr (blog author)

  7. Gail says:

    What I have trouble with are the people who are never caught up and always complaining about lack of funds, when they get some they feel they should use them to have fun since they will always have those bills anyhow. That kind of attitude is what keeps them chained to those bills for the rest of their lives. I have someone close to me that has done that for as long as I have known him. He is about to turn 50 soon and was very excited the last I was in contact with him as he had just managed FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE to put some money into a CD! I’m not saying whether a CD is good or bad, but he has had several opportunities that I know of to have put aside a chunk of money but instead decided for instance, that his family needed a 1-2 month trip around the USA–they left planning on camping out etc. to do it cheap and from what I heard on their return, they camped out only once or twice. I assume they came home more in debt than they left.

  8. Emily Booth says:

    Your friend was overwhelmed and stressed by the catastrophes he experienced during a 2 year period. He deserved rest, respite, a vacation, whatever you want to call it. He was blowing off steam. You listened and afterwards he decided to get the R & R he needed at a friend’s condo. Excellent choice. It was what he really needed. It was better than going into debt or any of the other behaviors people engage in to escape: drinking, drugs, over-eating. Your friend is a very healthy man.

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