Debt

Babson Boulder near Dogtown Square, Massachusetts
For some time I have wanted to express my opinion about debt. In 2006 I made the last payment on my mortgage and have been debt free since. So though you won’t get rich after reading what I have to say, you may be able to make some adjustments so that you can get out of debt faster. What I am writing here is really just a collection of what others have said and what I have done personally with my finances.

Plague

All I want you to do to begin with is to learn about plague. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., advised:

“Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow. Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little.” (Conference Report, Apr. 1937, p. 26.)

After reading this I wondered what the plague was like. Knowing that would give me some measure of how bad debt can be. The Black Death struck in the fourteenth century killing an estimated 75-200 million people worldwide and killed 50% of the European population during a four-year period.

Triumph of Death by Pieter Bruegel the elder

The classic sign of bubonic plague was the appearance of buboes in the groin, the neck and armpits, which oozed pus and bled. These buboes were caused by internal bleeding. Victims underwent damage to the skin and underlying tissue, until they were covered in dark blotches. Most victims died within four to seven days after infection. There was mortality rates of thirty to seventy-five percent and symptoms including fever of 101-105 °F, headaches, painful aching joints, nausea and vomiting, and a general feeling of malaise. Of those who contracted the bubonic plague, 4 out of 5 died within eight days. New research suggests Black Death is lying dormant. (See Wikipedia, Black Death)

In summary, debt is worse than the bubonic plague.

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