Debt Is A Lot Like Chewing Gum

chewing gumYou can smell the flavor before you even get it unwrapped. Mmmm! It’s going to be so refreshing. You start vigorously chewing with focused attention as you excrete the juicy taste from the once dry, powdery stick of gum. It’s so good and you hope it never ends, but as much as you enjoy it, you start to realize that the love affair is over. That taste that was promised to last forever now tastes like wet cardboard. What do you do?

You grab two pieces. Maybe, just maybe, it will last for ten minutes instead of just five.  Something tells you that you’re probably wrong but what else are you going to do? You’ve got to have fresh breath.

Has this ever happened to you?

I know it has. It looks so delicious as you watch the commercial lying to you about how long the flavor lasts, so you fall for it. After all, they lure you in by convincing you—the flavor that lasts all day—will cause your one true love to instantly appear, or the one you already have to have sparkles in their eyes because your breath smells so fantastic.

It would seem to me that someone is great at marketing. Nobody wants to have stinking breath, so before long you are up to a pack a day. They sold you on something that does not live up to the hype, but you still buy it. That’s GREAT marketing!

Guess who  else is great at marketing?

You’re waiting in line at the bank. Your palms are sweaty and you are nervous, with butterflies in your gut and a bloated misconception of how beneficial getting approved would be—you are confident. Debt is a tool, and you owe it to yourself to be able to enjoy life right? It’s a relationship that you practically beg for, and you aren’t really sure what you just signed up for but you do know you have a few purchases to make to break in your new plastic friend.

What could be better than being able to borrow someone else’s money to buy something you yourself do not have the money to buy? It’s perfect, why stop with plastic? So you go out and buy that new “reliable” car you have always “needed”.

Life is GREAT!

Then one day you wake up and realize you are up to your eyeballs in debt. Debt—the tool—has suddenly become a monthly burden that has grown out of control. It is like a fiery beast and it has control over your emotions. You believed that it was going to make everything all right, but the romance is over. Or is it?

Now it’s more like an abusive relationship. You are in a viscous cycle that forces more bad financial decisions because you have no other choice. You believed that that credit card was going to be for emergencies right after you charged a little to “build your credit”. You just knew that new car was going to be reliable. Now it’s at the shop.

What are you to do now?

You go get more credit because you are maxed out, and after all, you need something to use for emergencies. What about your credit score? You can’t go through life without a credit score, just like you can’t get a good date without that long-lasting piece of chewing gum.

You never stop believing the lies. You just know that one day, using debt as a tool will put you right where you want to be. Reality is that you were lied to. Debt is not a tool, and how many dates have you ever been on that lasted only 5 minutes? They want you to keep paying them interest, and they want you to keep investing in their gum.

Have you been fooled by society?

By the banks? By marketers? What about broke family members?

You are not alone. Many of us have bought it, hook, line, and sinker too. The question is do you want to continue down the path of living paycheck to paycheck, or do you want to learn how to be DEBT FREE? Free from stress? Free from bondage?

Wouldn’t you like to remove the one thing that is keeping you from building wealth? How has it worked for you so far? Debt is nothing but a roadblock! It is not helping you.

The great thing is.

You can get rid of your debt, and I believe in you. Not because I know you, but because I did it. I’m not that special! Anyone of you have the same ability, but you have to stop believing the lies.

Get rid of your debt, and find out for yourself why debt freedom is so entirely AWESOME!!

photo credit

About Brad Chaffee

13 Responses to “Debt Is A Lot Like Chewing Gum”

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  1. Brandi says:

    Good analogy!

    I have LOVED working the Dave Ramsey plan for just a little over a year now. It gives me hope everytime I can cross another ‘snowball’ off my list.

    Just 18 months more and I’ll be debt free and ready to buy a house!!!

  2. Aaron @ Clarifinancial says:

    Brad, I love metaphors to describe deeper concepts and this one does it. Great stuff. In fact, I couldn’t figure out what to publish this morning, but you convinced me to do another metaphor as well. Maybe it will be all “bubble gum and fences” from here on out.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      I was a little unsure if I put this together good enough to make it a good metaphor, but I hope I at least made my point. Thanks for stopping by Aaron. Oh and now that I have my internet connection back, I will be working on that page. 🙂

  3. Tracy says:

    It is my personal conspiracy theory that our economic system has been built on a house of cards designed around the idea that if you can just keep consumers spending money, even if they don’t have any, everyone will be happy. The banks led the way with high risk credit, and a hard sell to the public through almost every marketing campaign in sight, whether it is the billboard on the freeway implying that beautiful girls will flock to you if only you have the right car, to how much younger and prettier you will be if only you finance that plastic surgery. I fell deep into the abyss myself and just beginning to truly understand the magnitude of my own folly. If I can stick to my plan I should be debt free in less than 3 years. Sooner, if I can work enough overtime. The whole ugly mess goes along with our unfortunate natural tendency, as a species, to use/waste resources until they are gone, without slowing down long enough to find a way to preserve things for the future. Overcoming this behavior is as important for governments as it is for individuals. Whew, thanks for the forum, I feel better.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      You are not alone. It’s hard not to wonder about those things when the system in place seems to benefit the ones that created it. I am of course referring to the credit system where in order to be seen as financially responsible you must enter into the world of borrowing. I see a big problem with that especially for people like me who do not wish to be a slave to anyone for any reason. Thanks for your wonderful comment!

  4. Great post, Brad! Given the level of addiction and the detrimental effects, I think I would compare debt more to crack than chewing gum! 🙂

    We broke our habit and our lives have so much better ever since…

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Man that might be one to illustrate a different point about debt—it’s destructive nature. That’s a good one Dustin thanks!! Imagine the intro to that post. 😀 I could really have fun with that one.

      So much better indeed! Have I ever told you I have NO credit score? LOL I love it too! I have had so many people suggest that I open up a credit card to build my score, I just look at them and laugh like a rabid hyena with big eyes. Haha! Ok well not really, because I am more respectful than that, BUT that is what I envision doing in my head each time.:D

  5. Bucksome says:

    Dustin/Brad, crack might be a good analogy to debt, but hopefully you don’t have enough experience to describe it so well, LOL. I COULD relate to the chewing gum experience.

    Thanks for a motivating post!

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