A study conducted at Ohio State University found that adults between the ages of 18 and 27 felt more empowered if they owed money. Remarkably, it wasn't just educational debt that made them feel good, but credit card debt had positive effects on their esteem as well.
Does The Good Debt Feeling Ever Stop?
It sure does. It sets in around the age of 28 to 30. That's when those in debt up to their eyeballs realize they've been paying it off and will continue to pay for a very long time. Because they're servicing their debt, and trying to do the other normal things humans do at that time in their lives, such as buying a home and / or starting a family, they are beginning to see there's less money for things, like dining out or new cars or a vacation.
The only debt I ever had was on my house, and I cannot say I ever felt good about it.
Being In Debt and the Rule of 72
The Rule of 72 tells you how fast your money will double.
So if you're earning 6% on your investment, divide 6 into 72 and you get 12. That means at a 6% rate of return, your money will double every 12 years.
Now that sounds pretty good for an investment, but let's say you've been late a couple of times on your credit card and your interest rate is a shocking 24%.
Dividing 24 into 72 we get 3.
That means your credit card balance will double every three years even without making any new charges on your card. (That also implies you wouldn't be making any payments on your card. Uncle Guido would come after you if you tried that one.) But, interest will eat you alive if you let it loose!
Are you still feeling good?
The Other Consequences Of Having Debt
The fun doesn't stop here. With our slumping economy, this could be disasterous. Consumers make up about 67% of our economy. With the Baby Boomers retiring, they will be spending less, and with young adults paying off their debt, they'll be spending less as well, which means it may be a very long time before we pull out of our current slump.
When was the last time you felt good about your debt?