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The dirty habit of debt

(Transcipt of Time Money Joy podcast)

I have never been very comfortable with debt.

I decided at a very young age, because I’m very stubborn and strong willed, that while I loved working, I absolutely still love working, I wanted to do the work that I wanted to do and that meant doing work that I not only enjoyed but that gave back - I wanted to learn and add to skill sets and enjoy my social circle at work. So I if I wanted that freedom then I couldn’t take on too much obligation with debt because that would start to curtail my freedoms with my work …

So I made sacrifices

…I owned used cars that I bought for cash well into my 30s

…when I needed to take on debt to go to school, I decided to live in Jamaica, Queens with three people instead of going into campus housing

…when I finally moved into Manhattan, it was because I had applied for rent stabilized apartment.

This all allowed me to keep my costs down and continue to pay off my student loans well before they were ever due

That’s not to say that all debt is bad. I did use it to go to school I did use it to buy an apartment in a fringe neighborhood that I saw was a good investment and I did extremely well on that apartment.

More recently I used it to get myself out of a jam.

- While the rest of the world was recovering, Barbados was struggling up until about 2018 and just as we were getting back on our feet, COVID of course came. So right now I’m carrying a bit more debt than I would like but that’s OK because I’m getting through and I’m running my investments along with my debt. Debt is just as such a big issue -there’s practical parts of it but it’s also very very emotional - so we have pegged it as an addition to the Library that we are creating right now. It will address most of the things you will need to know but I thought in the meantime, because March is our month that we focus on our Debt and doing little housekeeping, that I would give you 5 quick tips that can keep you on the right track with your debt. The first thing that I want you to think about if you’re considering debt is really understanding the return on your money. Society and communities are far bigger than us sometimes and even though within our own households. We try to stay true to certain ethos but we can get very derailed so I want you to really understand the return you are looking for on the money you are looking to borrow.

…. whether you’re going for a student loan or a car the most important thing is that you’re making decisions that are right for you. This is the premise of the entire Afire Fi platform - helping your finances support the decisions that you are making for yourself.

The second thing I want you to think is if there are alternatives to this path. There’s always an alternative but is it an alternative that you can live with and if not, is there any way you can lessen the burden so that you can decrease the amount of the loan required. Be creative - just let it tick over in the back of your mind. See if you can find other ways and also ask some friends or some relatives or mentors what they would do in your circumstance Third…if your issue is credit card debt… Credit cards are usually the result of bad habits and bad habits creep in when we do things without intention. Again we want to be making decisions and living intentionally so if you have credit card debt that’s that is troublesome I’m gonna send you back to Podcast 4 which discusses your budgets and paying down debt. Number 4: if you are going to take on debt you have to understand the terms. Banks are not in business because they’re trying to help us out - they are not charities. While they are not loan sharks, please understand your Terms. If you are a member, very simply log in and go into your into your debt page and there we have some key terms and you can see what you need to get better acquainted with.

The last thing I want to say about debt is … Debt is a habit but so is Investing. If you are trying to pay off debt please make sure that you’re establishing a habit for investing as well - otherwise what I’ll see a lot of times - too many times - is people will focus pay off their debt - oh that’s so fantastic - and then they take on more debt rather than beginning investing. While you’re paying off your debt get some money investing -start your wealth growing. Then as you get that debt paid off, you’ll be so so much happier with your investments that you are more likely to focus on that new trend than go back to your old debt habit.

Again this is a big section and we are going to address it in the Library which is launching soon - I haven’t put a date on it yet but right now if you want to enroll, send me an e-mail at, mention this podcast, and I will send you a discount code. The Platform of course is up and running and can be accessed through

Thanks for joining me today and hopefully see you soon.


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