Avoid Borrowing for Depreciating Assets
- Steve Diggs Personal Finance and Life-Skills Coach
- 2012 29 Feb
For much of human history the very idea of buying something on credit that wasn’t essential and that would lose value over time was recognized as a loser’s game. Our grandparents rarely carried debt on anything more than their homes. Many of our parents had gas cards—but they paid them off every month. Sadly, over the last several decades Americans have built a culture that was never acceptable in previous history. Today, millions of us are borrowing money for depreciating assets.
“What,” you ask, “is a depreciating asset?”
It’s anything that’s going to be worth less tomorrow than it is today! By definition, a depreciating asset goes down in value after you buy it. This is why I urge people to avoid borrowing money for furniture, appliances, and even new cars. At the top of this list is a vacation. Think about it. Where’s the sanity in taking your credit card on vacation and giving it a tan—then having to work and worry for the next year to pay off that vacation?
Remember, when Christians start listening to Madison Avenue, Detroit and Wall Street instead of Matthew, Luke , James, and John—that’s when we get into trouble and lose our honor. Suppose you become convinced that you just have to have that brand new motorcycle—because the slick ad says that “you deserve it.” So you borrow the $15,000.
What happens ten months later when you lose your job and still owe $13,000 on the motorcycle? Now it’s worth only $11,000. How do you sell the motorcycle for $11,000, pay off the $13,000 that you owe and maintain your honor? How does the calculus of that work? When Christians listen to the wisdom of the world, we’re headed for trouble.
The Bible encourages running aggressively from the debt trap. It challenges us to look to the ant (whose IQ starts with a decimal point) and consider our own need to plan ahead.
“Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler. Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:5-11; NIV)
As I present the No Debt No Sweat! Seminar across the country, I see thousands of Christians who are in a world of hurt because they have listened to our culture much more than to our God. The beginning of freedom is to get out of financial bondage. Only then will we be able to be about “our Father’s business” and shine like beacons in this very dark and confused world.
Steve Diggs has presented the No Debt No Sweat! Money Management and ReTooled & ReFueled Essential Life-Skills Seminars over 500 times at churches, colleges, conferences and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve at www.NDNS.org, www.RetooledAndRefueled.com or www.SteveDiggs.com or call 615-834-3063. Today, as the author of seven books Steve is a TV commentator and fulltime speaker. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four grown children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.