Money Mondays: Love is Gonna Getcha

Ya know that's why man I be telling you all the time man you know LOVE - that word love is a very serious thing and if you don't watch out I tell ya that (Love's gonna get you) because a lot of people out here say "i love my car" or "i love my chain" or or "i'm i'm just in love with that girl over there" so far all the people out there that fall in love with material items we gonna bump the beat a lil' something like this
KRS ONE - Material Love

When you look at consumer debt, chances are, you can usually relate it back to matters of the heart. That's right, the heart. The heart is where you will find the issues of life. It is that place that tells the real story. Forget what you see on the surface, dig a little and you will find out what the real deal is.

Being a Financial Counselor is an interesting role to play in ones life, because the position requires you to discern what is at the root of a person's money problems in a relatively small amount of time. Rarely is it just a lack of money. We all have access to money. Some of us would like access to more, but in a good many cases "lack" is not the issue. Typically, money problems can be traced back to a lack of discipline in telling yourself no, using purchases to medicate past pains, using money to deny a certain reality exists, low self image or a combination of the aforementioned. While this is not a comprehensive list, it is a good start in getting you to understand how consumer debt is about more than money.

There is a saying that goes -- Money only magnifies who you really are. There was never a truer statement as it relates to money, because given your money was endless, we'd all see you for who you really are. Debt is just the result of you trying to express who you are with limited resources. You are trying to express what is in your heart.

Maria grew up with a mother who was selfish. Her mom had money, but she never brought Maria and her siblings much, just the necessities. Meanwhile, her mom constantly partied, brought herself nice clothes, and made sure she had a nice car and household furnishings. When Maria and her siblings wanted anything, her mom always cried broke and about how expensive it was to raise them without help from their daddy. Maria promised herself that things would be different when she became an adult. She kept her promise, she rarely tells herself no if she can help it, but she also has the debt to show for it.

Jonathon never felt he quite measured up to his brothers. He wasn't the biggest, the smartest or the fastest. I guess you could say he was just average. Jonathon grew up hating that his brothers got more attention than him. He always hated having to live in their shadows. When he grew up, he worked hard and managed to supersede them all in salary. To prove he was top dog, he had the best of everything. Luxury cars, big house, expensive clothes, you name it. However, the problem was he had no savings and he lived paycheck to paycheck. He spent all his money trying to prove he was better than his brothers. Now, the auto manufacturer that he works for is closing the plant he works at in 90 days and he doesn't know what he is going to do.

Charlotte grew up in a wealthy family. While growing up, she never experienced lack. I guess you could say she had a wonderful life. When she was in high school, her dad's company got sued and their family was practically wiped out. The problem is, none of Charlotte's peers knew about this incident, and she feels to embarrassed to tell them that with the exception of some money her grandparents left them, they are just middle class folks now. Meanwhile, she continues to feel the pressure to keep up with the lifestyles of her friends, but doing so has caused her to rack up nearly $200k in debt. She's at her wits ends.

These are just a few scenarios that tell a deeper story than what one can see when they look at the income statement and the balance sheet. There are instances when debt is due to medical bills, job loss or some other unfortunate event. However, most debt that exist is the result of conscious decisions that are made as it relates to the heart. So, if you are dealing with debt, pull out the mirror, look yourself in the face, and decide that you are going to fix the real problem, not just the symptom of the problem. Until you get to the heart of the matter, debt will continue to be a cycle in your life. You can budget, you can stop spending for a time, but unless you deal with the real issue, you are just playing games with yourself. The problem will resurface again. So, get some help, and change your life today.

For all you old school heads, enjoy this blast from the past.

FUN IN THE FALL -- Join the writers of Bloggers' Delight Vol. 1 - Love & Redemption in New York City during the weekend of October 12th (Columbus Day Holiday).

Where: 583 Riverside Drive, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10031.
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Blog Queen said...


1) the more you make..the more you spend

2) it's not how much you make (earn) that dictates who you's whats left after all the bills are paid

remorji said...

That's real talk. Thanks for checking me out. Oh, and thanks for making me break out my mirror. Peace and Blessings

Lovebabz said...

This was really thought provoking.

I am well. Thank you.

Rich said...

@blog queen -- the more you make the more you attempt to express your true self and some folks don't wait till the bills are paid, they let those pile up and get their stuff first.

@remorji - glad to have you in the house brother, I need to add you to my list for quick reference, that was indeed a good read at your spot.

@lovebabz - glad you are doing well.

Shelia said...

BDP in the house :)

I know when I was deep in debt it was because I used shopping to mask what was going on in my life. Once I got out of debt though, I found healthier ways to deal with issues.

Keith said...

You aint never lied. I went through a Bankruptcy and I defaulted on one of my student loans. I paid off my Bankruptcy(about 10 years ago now) and eventually paid my student loan off. I had to sit down and realize that the real reason I was so reckless with cash and credit is because I was hurting inside...self
esteem issues, etc. Once I got myself straightened out, I was able to handle money better.
It took a long time to do that, but I did.
This post was so on time...I wish I had read it ten years ago.

Aunt Jackie said...

if my parents never taught us anything else teaching my siblings and myself to stay out of debt has truly enriched our lives.

I have one small credit card debt and a car note...and at my age that's no easy feat. I have lived within my means all of my life and learned how to live with the comfort of money in the bank instead of material items to impress folks who probably don't give a damn about what I'm driving, or wearing...

Debt free living is golden!

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

u aint never lied chief

MysTery said...

Nice post. :)

Stephen Bess said...

This took me back. Nice. :)