Debt. A modern society concept that is more and more present in our life. It’s not so long ago when there was no such thing. First, society itself brought debt into our homes. People had to pay for things like security, education, infrastructure and well-being of their ruller. Mostly for the last one.

Then, people started to get in debt for whole other reason: pleasure. And this is happening today.

The cause of debt is very simple, you consume more than you produce, you buy what you can’t afford. We’ve been so cleanly brainwashed that we don’t even realize that. We’ve been almost programed since childhood to want more. It’s in our blood, embedded in our brains to desire things. We don’t need things, we WANT it. If we don’t afford it, we make a loan for it. Not so long ago people were making loans for houses, now we make it even for a microwave oven or a huge TV that replaces the one we got last year. Sooner or later we work only to pay our debt. Wait, that is already happening!

I don’t know about you, but I decided not to play this game.

My only two loans were for an iPod (yeah, I know) and a laptop. If the one for the iPod was convenient, the one for the laptop was a disaster. But it wasn’t my experience with loans that got me to my decision. It’s the examples of other people I’ve met with loans for different things that, by the time they finish paying for it, are outdated and overpriced, just like my (previous) laptop. I saw them struggling with paying the loan for the car (not to mention taxes, gas and maintenance) that almost turned them into slaves.

Things are no longer made to last a lifetime. Cars don’t live to see you get old, not anymore. So why should you pay 5-10 years for it? If you really need a car, buy a second hand one. It’s really cheap and it gets the job done. And use the public transportation every time you have the chance, not to mention walking.

Loans for houses are a delicate topic, but my theory is that the true value is on the land, not the house itself. This means that apartments are a waste of money. Why buy something that is “up there in the sky”? If a house gets demolished, you rebuild it; but if the apartment building falls to the ground, it’s gone. I know it sounds apocalyptic, but it’s my theory.

Moreover, I think that the concept of owning a house is a bit old. That’s because we’re no longer so committed to stay in one place for the rest of our life. Today I live somewhere in Europe, but in few years I might live in Asia. So buying a house in Bratislava might not be such a smart decision on the long run. Renting a house gives you the opportunity to move easily to different cities, but also different neighborhoods. Find a place to rent closer to your workplace and you don’t need to to buy a car for getting to work. So you save money from two sources.

I believe that we always have affordable options, but we somehow choose the most costly ones. Maybe it’s because of the brainwash I was mentioning before. There is nothing wrong with living the life you afford, it can motivate you to work harder so you afford things that you might desire. The main thing is not to get into debt.