I was telling my daughter that debt is like fat and she was confused. I explained that building up debt rarely happens overnight, just like building up your body mass is not done overnight. Unfortunately I have put both fat and debt back in my life.
When I had my weight gain it happened over about a 14 year period. It was slow, but by the time I finally did something about it, it was significant. It was a compounding of eating the wrong things, in the wrong quantities at the wrong time, and a complete lack of physical exertion. I had taken the weight off but am back fighting to lose it.
Another way debt is like fat is the build up is the same way. Usually it happens slowly without you noticing you are doing it. Unless you make some gruesome investments, an incredible blunder or you are a victim of a fraud.
Buying your lunch every day isn’t going to put you into debt, neither is leasing your car, vacationing in Las Vegas, or buying lottery tickets either, however, start adding these together with spending more than you make and suddenly you are building up debt, instead of equity. Keep doing this over a long period, and suddenly you have a debt load that you cannot afford and you are just not sure how the heck you did it. It was achieved one small step at a time.
What is the Key?
Unfortunately, or fortunately, debt reduction is accomplished in the same way. Unless it rains money, getting out of debt is done slowly and one month at a time, using a plan and self-control and a willingness to change your lifestyle (because losing weight and debt reduction are BOTH lifestyle changes, not just a quick fix that allows you to go back to your old habits).
Debt is like fat, but you can still fight it.