Monday, January 5, 2015

Debt from friends - the most evil thing

Search for debt quotes and you will find many. Some are funny some teaching the life lessons, but never one saying that debt is of any good to anyone. Debt is not good and one should avoid it at all costs. One should learn to live within one's means as much as possible. Of course there are circumstances where one would need money or things but that debt should be taken care of as soon as possible.

I had never been in debt until I bought my house five years ago. Now I have a debt for few years...but of course I have my house also!

I have never understood how people ask for money. I have lived with very limited money for most part of my life. Until I was 16, I did not really need to have money, my parents were fulfilling all my basic needs. I did not have interests or hobbies or passions that required me to ever ask for any money. I was content with what I had - I never had any "needs".

When I was in India from 16-20 years of age, 2 years in the hostel and 2 years at home with my aunt and uncle. All my fees was paid for by my parents. I would get a limited amount of cash each month, which I would use for the cafeteria fees, or transportation, both of which sucked up all the money I had. I was always able to get all my books and study items. I would have very little left over for maybe a nail polish bottle or some junk food :-)

But during all these four years I never borrowed any money....AND I never loaned any money to anyone either (in the hostel there were a few girls who were in the bad habit of asking for money!)

Things did not get much better in Ph.D. I got a steady paycheck for four years as part of my teaching assistant-ship. I was living with my brother and had rented an apartment. My brother was also the money manager, I had no worries to pay rent or bills. We were not living in luxury, but slowly we managed to get all that we needed. I don't think we had much savings!

And then I got my first job and moved out on my own! Oh what a shock that first year was for me. I had to maintain my bank balance and pay all the bills, twice or thrice my check bounced! Damn! I ended up buying furniture that I later could not get rid of when I had to move from Buffalo. That was my learning experience - and I was 25 years old. I had to move back in with my brother. He helped me store all my things in a storage and paid for it. And I thought to myself - NEVER AGAIN!!

I got my second job in Vancouver, Canada. It was not high paying, but my frugality was at a high level. I saved money like anything! I did not have much belongings and did not care to have much either. I wanted to make sure that when I was moving back to USA, I would have enough money to start on my own.

Once I started my permanent job in Kansas City I was all set. My pay was not high, but I had vowed to myself that I would NEVER borrow money, never owe anyone anything. So I just saved saved and saved. There is no doubt that I would need help - the non financial kind - which I could only return with my love and by being a loyal friend. I have always been there for my friends.

The few months that I was in financial trouble and without a job, I realized what it was like not to have money. A feeling of helplessness sets in. But it also taught me the importance of financial management. It also taught me to live within my means. I always live within my means. Only now - after working for so many years, I feel that I am comfortable enough to help other people in need. But I still don't loan money to friends - I think money breaks friendships.

I have loaned money to family - and that is different. But loaning money to friends has been out of question - until recently. I could not refuse someone. I don't think they were my friend or even cared about me, but I cared about them, so I loaned them money. expected, things have gone south from there. It has been really tough for me. (And that is why I don't give money to anyone except family).

I don't know how people ask me for money when they don't even care about me. Actually, I don't know how people ask for money from friends - period. I never would - and I hope I never have to. I would live within my means as much as I can. But of course I can never presume what other people's lives and tribulations are that cause them to ask for money.

Debt is an evil thing. The very short time I felt I was under debt was the worst for me. Maybe people think it is normal to ask people for money - but for me it is just not a good philosophy. Banks are for asking for loans - not friends.

A debt free life is the happy life!

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