6 Life-Changing Lessons We Learn from Debt

You’re walking down the street with your friends on a relaxing Saturday afternoon.

As you are about to turn the corner, you spot the pair of shoes you’ve been waiting your whole life to buy just sitting in a department store window begging to be bought.

The price tag doesn’t even matter at this point. You saw the shoes first. You wanted the shoes first. But your friend decides those shoes are for her. She opens her dumb mouth to comment on how much she loves the shoes.

Suddenly, a wave a wrath washes over you. Those are your shoes. They were meant for you. You reach for your purse.

That’s when you remember your car payment, your mortgage, your empty fridge and pantry at home, your husband’s medical bills, and your newborn’s future college tuition.

What do you do next?

The difference between you and your friend is profound. The moment you reach for your purse and the thoughts that pass through your mind reveal much more about your character than you might realize. Your debt, however burdensome it is, has taught you some invaluable lessons.

Yes, there are personal finance blogs, debt relief companies, and budgeting apps (which are all helpful), but the most important debt relief expert should be you. Debt can help you find that expertise if you choose.

Getting out of debt isn’t easy. But when you climb that mountain and finally conquer debt, you can look around and see that there’s a bright side to what you’ve been through.

Debt Teaches You to Be Smarter with Money

Debt, or more accurately the practice of escaping debt, increases your financial literacy. People don’t just escape debt out a passive desire to spend more money; they escape debt out of a ravenous longing for independence, freedom, and security.

The attitude of those who free themselves from debt forces them to learn the difficult truths about financial responsibility. Once you realize that you need change your habits, budgeting, saving, and smart spending become almost second nature.

Before long, you’ll find yourself observing the spending habits of everyone around with a more educated and experienced eye.

Debt Teaches You the Real Value of Money

When you have especially crippling debt, you’ll learn to value the important things in your life more than money.

Most of us are in debt in the first place because we wanted something and then decided we needed it. In reality, we hardly ever actually need the things we buy; this lesson can only be learned by momentarily stepping away from the possessions we own.

Some people find that the lack of money brings a greater appreciation for family, friends, and the memories you create together.

Debt Teaches You Who Your Real Friends Are

Like Elite Daily already pointed out, debt will teach you who your real friends are.

Unfortunately, so many people are only looking for the type of good time that comes with having money. Once you’re in debt, you are no longer able to go out to basketball games, go golfing, or party as much as you used to; this is when certain friends will just leave you behind.

The friends who stick by your side throughout the entire process of escaping debt will be by your side through thick and thin.

Debt Teaches You to Be Independent

Though there will be moments when you’ll need to rely on close friends, family members, or debt relief experts, those who overcome debt learn to be strong and independent.

If you’re in the midst of debt, you should know that overcoming it is supposed to be difficult. It’s amazing how often taking the easy route ends up harming us and traveling the harder path can end up helping us.

Once you become debt free, you will find that you have grown in many ways, but the first thing you’ll see is that people will come to you for advice, ask you for help, and look to you as an example of responsibility.

Debt Teaches You about Yourself

Perhaps the most difficult part of debt is that it forces you to take a long look at yourself in the financial mirror. It compels you to ask difficult questions: What am I doing wrong? What do I spend too much money on? What should I be spending money on instead? What habits do I need to kick? What habits do I need to acquire?

The answers to such questions will reveal more than most people want to know about themselves. And like we discovered earlier, hardly anyone wants to face the difficulty in confronting hidden personal truths.

Most of us build walls around ourselves to protect ourselves from scrutiny. This can lead to a lack of introspection and ultimately the development of destructive habits. You cannot tackle your debt head on without first knocking down the walls you’ve built around yourself.

In the process, you will not only learn vital things about yourself but will also begin to develop a more confident and reliable character.

Debt Teaches You to Have Compassion

There is little more numbing to our conscience than the ability to buy anything at any time for any price. Though those who are financially sound aren’t bad people, it is much more difficult to be aware of the financial struggles of those around us when we haven’t had similar struggles.

Debt can plunge you into the undesirable club of those who are just down on their luck. It can open your eyes to those who are struggling even more than yourself. Once you escape the terrible trap of debt, you will emerge more compassionate and more willing to help those around you.

Whether you hire an expert to help you escape debt or you go it alone for awhile, you’re sure to come out of the process a better person, financially secure and well prepared for future financial challenges.


Enjoying your hobbies on a budget

If you’re skint, there’s nothing fun about having to re-do the budgets and figuring out what has to make way in order to pay off those bills. After food, utilities and of course the phone has been accounted for, there’s often little left for the things we do in spare time. Whether it’s going for a drink or playing sport, we’re more likely to knock the things we can live without on the head if we’re feeling the stresses and strains of modern living. It’s not just financial poorness that can be an issue either, with our jobs eating up the rest of the spare time we have and making it difficult to find a new interest or pursue hobbies.

It’s even unfairly skewed against women. A recent Office for National Statistics study found that old habits die hard, and women spend on average half an hour less than men doing what they enjoy, not because of cash, but because they do still do more chores and housework than men.

So what happens if you’ve got no cash and are bored of flicking through Instagram? Well, any of these are a cheap and easy ways to enjoy something new, plus you can do them when you’ve got a spare five minutes!

Collect stuff

Remember the thrill of opening a fresh pack of football stickers, or getting your 17th Beenie Baby? Well, adults can collect too and it can be quite therapeutic. As well as the stuff aimed at kids which is still pretty fun to collect, there’s all sorts of boring grown-up stuff that can be picked up fairly cheaply and of course from the internet, so you don’t need to spend hours traipsing around charity shops. From stamps to old photos and postcards to vintage clothing, picking a theme and going for it can be a rewarding pursuit that doesn’t cost the earth.

If you really don’t have a penny to spare, then you could always collect things that you usually get for free. From business cards to plane and train registration numbers, there are tons of ways to build your collection out without having to spend a single penny. Football sticker groups for adults also exist if the first sentence sounded interesting.

Sport and exercise

If the £15 per month gym membership or £2 per week football subs are still too much, then just bear in mind that going for a run somewhere doesn’t cost a single penny. Exercise has obvious benefits, and you can even turn something like running into a fully fledged hobby, by working on improving your times and entering into races. You could even do the good thing by raising some money for charity while you’re at it!

The other option is to start your own team. By clubbing together a few mates, or advertising for free on gumtree, you could soon set up a sports club, and run it however you wish. This could include scrapping subs and registration fees! If you get really good, or want to take your new team to the next level, then there’s even some free money out there, with government sports grants designed to make sport more accessible.

Play poker

OK, so how am I meant to play poker when I don’t have any money?

Well, the answer is pretty simple. As well as only gambling very small amounts, you can even play for free with many providers. Playing for free allows you to get better at the game, and then you can start playing with real money once you feel more confident.

Although gambling can be highly problematic for people with financial problems to start with, poker is a bit different in that there’s a lot more skill involved than reliance on pure chance. Good players can not only limit the amount of losses they incur, but there’s also a decision involved with whether to gamble or not, rather than just lumping everything on black and hoping for the best.

The trick to enjoying yourself is through poker bankroll management. This included with only gambling what you can afford to lose, and being a bit more conservative with your strategy. Can make poker an exciting hobby that doesn’t actually cost a lot to keep up.

Get creative

The thing about creating a masterpiece is that you can do it with stuff lying around the house. With some scrap paper and a pencil, you can soon start sketching, and as you practice, you’ll get even better. If drawing and painting sounds a bit dull, then why not try some DIY? As well as improving your home, you’ll pick up some new skills along the way. There are some great ideas to do it on the cheap on sites like pinterest too.

Even if you literally don’t have a pen to hand, art equipment isn’t particularly expensive, and there are always really cheap hobbies like knitting and sewing. I mean, who doesn’t love a woolly hat for winter? If you’ve lost all hope with your creative skills, then fear not – you can always pick up a kids’ paint by numbers set for next to nothing on the high street!


A hobby that costs nothing is great, but one that helps is others is fantastic. There are plenty of needy people in the UK and luckily plenty of organisations who provide help and support, and they’re constantly looking for new volunteers to help out.

Organisations like the Samaritans, Help the Aged and the endless number of charity shops are more than happy to accept a couple of hours of help a week, and the help you’ll provide to a wide selection of people from all walks of life can be really rewarding, more so than collecting football stickers in some cases.

So there you have it, a handful of really cheap or even completely free hobbies that even the poorest of us can manage. All you need to do now if you’re a man is start helping around the house more, or if you’re a woman, go on strike and make him do it while you enjoy your new hobby!


A Few Things You Should Know About a Reverse Mortgage

If you are entering retirement, you may have run some numbers on your personal finances, only to realize that you will not have the income that you thought you would have. Of course, at this point in your personal finances, there may not seem to be any options left. All of the savings and investments that can be made for your retirement have already been made. There is, however, an option that may be available to you. If you have a home, paid off or not, you can tap into the equity of your home with a reverse mortgage. The following are a few things to understand about a reverse mortgage.

What is a reverse mortgage?
A reverse mortgage gets its name from the fact that instead of you paying the lender each month, it is the lender that is paying you each month. Basically, they are buying the house from you. This provides a monthly income that can help you enjoy your retirement years a lot more. There are many lenders that offer a reverse mortgage. Some of these lenders, like American Advisors Group, specialize in them.

Why get a reverse mortgage?
Of course, you could just sell your home and take the proceeds. Some people do this because their house is too big and has become difficult to maintain. You can sell your home, and then buy a smaller home such as a condominium in a gated community where much of the maintenance is done for your, at least on the exterior. What makes a reverse mortgage so attractive to so many people is that you don’t have to move. You can stay right where you are. If you did sell your present home, you will still need a place to live. This usually means buying another home. You may be able to buy something of lesser value and bank the leftover money. Of course, you will have to slowly draw on this savings to help you in retirement, but once it’s gone, you will have nothing. A reverse mortgage pays you every month.

A reverse mortgage taps into your equity
You could get a second mortgage, but then you would have payments to make each month. Compared to a reverse mortgage, a second mortgage makes no sense at all. Perhaps you have a lot of monthly income in retirement and you want a large lump sum for a long vacation to travel world. In this case, it may make sense, but only because you have enough income to pay back the loan. Many people are not in this situation. People with low or medium size incomes in retirement have few options to increase their monthly income. If you are in this category, a reverse mortgage may be a great way to raise your standard of living in retirement and enjoy your golden years.

A few other things to understand
You do not need your house to be paid off. As long as you have equity in your home, a reverse mortgage lender can pay off the balance of your mortgage and begin paying you money each month. This removes the monthly expense of your mortgage while providing you with additional income. For many people, this may be a windfall in their retirement years.

Of course, a reverse mortgage may not be right for you. One thing you can do is visit a reverse mortgage lender’s website, like AAG Reverse mortgages, and use an online calculator to find out how much monthly income you qualify for.

Which Factors Influence the Value of the Japanese Yen?

The Forex market can seem complex for unprepared beginner traders, as there are many factors to take into account. Large institutional investors, such as hedge funds and major banks, dominate the market by instantaneously incorporating every available piece of news into the prices of currencies, usually before independent  traders have had a chance to notice and process the information.

Currency trading platforms, such as leading Forex trading broker Trade360.com, provide a range of tools and professional charts to help traders make the best decisions under the most favourable conditions. To trade effectively on the Forex market and be profitable in the long term, you need to understand some fundamentals about each currency.

Let’s focus here on the factors that influence the value of the Japanese Yen (JPY) which, according the last Triennial Central Bank Survey from the Bank for International Settlements, is the third-most traded currency in the world after the USD and the EUR, which makes every currency pair containing the JPY a potentially profitable prospect.

Bank of Japan Decisions

Above all, it’s vital to monitor the Japanese central bank’s decisions regarding its monetary policy, which is designed to support economic growth and achieve a healthy inflation rate of around 2%. To achieve these goals, the BoJ has applied very low interest rates for some time, pushing real interest rates into negative territory several times in the 2000s.

Inflation Figures

The BoJ’s policy of very low interest rates is widely seen as a failure, as Japan has had to face persistent deflation and weak growth for many years. Despite massive stimulus efforts and recent signs of a strengthening economy, companies are not yet ready to raise prices or increase salaries, which is problematic for policy makers, which cannot reach their inflation target.

Every statistic about inflation in Japan, such as the Customer Price Index (CPI), is important, showing how close or far the BoJ is from its 2% goal. This data also helps traders predict whether the central bank is likely to scale back or eliminate its stimulus strategy.

Global Stability

The yen is considered a safe haven currency to invest in when market volatility and global uncertainty rise. The Japanese economy is generally stable, and has weathered many crises over the years, and even though Japan is a highly indebted country, traders usually note that most of its debt is domestically owned.

The yen is also a free tradable currency with no peg and a long observable history evolving within a stable geopolitical situation, which is why it attracts so many traders from all over the world.