Should I pay off my debt or invest to live life? Which one is more important? Which one should I focus on? And to throw a spanner in the works, can I do both?
And the survey says…..
I asked this poll on my Instagram stories recently and the majority (78%) voted for pay off debt. This was not a surprise. I did get a few more detailed answers which turned my dm into a discussion forum; this was great because it sparked today’s post.
Having debt vs Being in debt
I have talked about finance a few times on this blog and as always I like to disclose with you, I am not a financial expert. However, as I learn I like to share. I also share because I wish for it to ignite insightful conversations where we can all learn from each other. I was once told, there is a difference in ‘having debt’ and ‘being in debt’. Just like we here people say I ‘love you’ but I am not ‘in love with you’. In many ways we all have debts, if you have been to university then you have your student loan debt. If you own credit card that is debt. If you use payday loans, that is a debt you really should not have, pay that off, and run away from it. There is no discussion about that one.
Different debts, Different solutions
Hopefully, by the above examples, you can now deduct that there are different kinds of debts and each one should be handled differently. I once completed a course with my connect group (Connect group is weekday church group which we gather to talk all things life and Jesus and faith) called financial freedom. The course focused on many things among them was, savings, investing and paying off debt. One thing that I learned was that all three could be done together, but one will always have priority over the other depending on personal circumstances and choice.
Choice and Living
The video which actually sparked the poll on Instagram and subsequently this post shared a story of a woman who spent the majority of her life paying off her debt and as soon as she retired and was ready to travel the world she passed away a month later. In line with my last post on Kobe Bryant, tomorrow is not promised. This is not to say that you should forget about your debt and just spend money anyhow. That my dear friend is not wisdom.
Which one should you choose?
Personally, and I say personally because all of this is subjective. There are too many misconceptions with being financially free. Is being financially free equate to being debt-free? There is an importance in being resourceful. and this is why I choose both. I have debt and but I also want to live life, I can’t come and kill myself. This is where planning comes into it. Create an excel spreadsheet that will show you a detailed version of how to clear your debts. At the same time create a savings pot, an investment pot. Don’t succumb yourself into one area and stress too hard. If you need help ask for it. So long as there is breath in your lungs live it to the best of your ability.