So how does this start ?
Let say you want to buy a house, a car, an apartment you name it, and like 99% of the people, you don’t have the full amount available in cash to go buy it.
You don’t really feel like building or handcrafting it from scratch either because you don’t have the full set of skills for this (and it would also probably take forever), so taking advantage of the division of Labour and expertise of others seems a very attractive option indeed.
From division of Labour to Money
In order to exchange your labour with labour of others, we use money, a very convenient way to exchange good and services although I agree it’s not always a perfect system.
It looks like you don’t have much of it in your pockets, damn you Poor. So you go to a Bank and explain the situation. You become somehow persuasive enough about how much you are willing to work hard to pay it back and so the Bank lend you the money on the sole and signed promise you will repay it in full plus interest over the course of the next ten to twenty-five years.
So… it’s all good ?
So far so good, the moneys system is convenient, division of Labour works in a very efficient way, borrowing is wonderful, you still don’t have the money for it now but you very soon get to live in the house or drive the car you wanted without even a clue of how a window or a door-handle is made, or even how your engine or windscreen is manufactured; you take it all for granted and start paying a fraction of the price back to the Bank every month.
By the way…
What is important to see here is we don’t actually borrow the money for the house and repay the money afterwards. In fact it is the house or the car we are borrowing here. Money is just the system that allows you to exchange goods and services with others not only now, but over the course of time, the price of time being reflected in interests, among other things such as risk reward for lending for instance.
Then it all goes sour
But for a reason I ignore, all of a sudden, your mortgage, or your loan, becomes evil: you need to repay it as quickly as you can to the expense of doing other things earlier in life due to the great benefits of the financing system.
Well I have a question for you guys: why in the world did you borrow in the first place if it was something so obviously inconvenient to live with ?
Couldn’t you wait after saving enough for it and then go and pay cash ? Or do without money as an experimental lifestyle, or be less radical and go for trendy minimalism and buy a smaller house for instance, more and more people do this and find themselves happier: at least you might have satisfaction of not being trapped in a mortgage-to-repay situation for too long.
But what is the point of staring at my zero debt account for the rest of my days ?
And eventually you did it. You repaid the house in full, or the car, and you are now free as a bird again, congratulations. Really. Well done, I mean it. A lot of people will never get there. I also remember myself coming at the end of one of the mortgage I had and so I could see from one day to another on my computer screen using on-line banking that I no longer had anything to repay: did my life change dramatically at that point in time ? not that I recall.
Is living Debt-free overrated ? I don’t think so either. But what is the point of staring at my zero debt account for the rest of my days ?
I guess now these big goals of repaying all in full or early retiring is more of a breakthrough in terms of lifestyle. Did I feel better at least at the time after finally repaying my mortgage ? yes, I did, definitely.
But then I adjusted and I just moved on.