I have a sure-fire love-line you can say to your lady. You know, one of those “sweet-nothing” phrases. “Baby, I am so thankful that I have you, for all you have done for me and what a blessing you are to me. So thankful, that tomorrow I think we should go out and start looking for another wife. Let us get up early, and see what we can find. Love you sweetie.”
Now, unless your wife is featured on Sister Wives, I have a feeling those lines aren’t going to go over very well. Yet, this is basically the attitude of many American’s this time of year. Thanksgiving comes and we are inundated with stories about being thankful for all of the things that we have and the very next story appeals to the consumption side of our personalities by telling us it is “Black Friday” (wait, isn’t it also Black Friday if a bunch of people at work get fired?) and stores open early for us to begin Christmas shopping. Am I the only one noticing this inconsistency? “Be thankful for all you have, but go spend to get more because it is not enough!” To make matters worse, the third story is probably about the threat of a “W” recession and the unemployment numbers (which is at 9% as of October 2010 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .
Financial talk show host Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com) commonly says that getting out of debt changes your family tree. I think those are very true words. First, the Bible says in Proverbs 22:7 that, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Therefore Dad, how can you properly be the cornerstone of your family if you are a slave to a credit card company and/or bank?
Those companies will run your house really well as they will dictate when everyone wakes up with their unsolicited 8 A.M. wake-up calls to becoming an uninvited guest at dinner or with 8:30 P.M. “night-night” bedtime calls. Yes indeed, your kids will view mom and dad in a whole new light as they watch them panic like a roach in light, when that phone rings and you look at the caller-ID and tell them not to answer the phone numerous times each day. Yes, Sweet Daddy move over, there’s a new loan shark in the Evan’s family!
If you are slave to the lender, please show some wisdom this Christmas season. The very people you may be trying to impress would not be too impressed if they knew the amount of debt your household carries. Imagine those people being over at your home when the phone rings and asking, “Your phone is ringing, you aren’t going to answer it?” Then again, would it really matter? Debt and consumption are the fuels to the American economy right? Creditcards.com reports that the average household has nearly four credit cards as of 2008. The average credit card debt for those households is nearly $16,000! Time for a change, and it begins at home by not being a slave to your personal Sweet Daddy Williams.
This is our first Christmas with no credit card and that is what I’m truly thankful for. No payments to linger into 2011 from 2010. This is surely the greatest gift that I will give my children this holiday season.
Next time, we’ll take another look at the benefits of changing your family tree by becoming debt free. You can influence your children’s attitude in a whole new way concerning money. Left on their own, society has no problem teaching them if you will not. The real message this time of year is actually, “Be thankful for what you have been able to accumulate, but keep striving to attain more because you do not want to be without the latest _____.”