“Debt is the slavery of the free.” – Publilius Syrus
As a Prosper member, I believe in the business model and think person-to-person lending democratizes the lending marketplace. It’s good to see that Prosper is attracting more creditworthy borrowers.
The San Francisco Business Times suspects more people are turning to Prosper because fewer interest-free introductory credit cards are being offered by credit card companies. Thank the subprime lending debacle for this new trend.
One trend that hasn’t changed: the average American family still has $10,000 in debt and many households continue to live paycheck to paycheck. Getting out of debt isn’t easy. Some silently wish to win the lottery. Others take a second job. Some cut expenses or simply go without.
Still others rely on God. Take the guy at Free Money Finance, a popular Christian money blog. He writes:
He’s promised that if you’re faithful, He’ll fill your barns and vats to overflowing. He’s even said that you should test Him by tithing and see if He won’t open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it!
I started tithing 15 years ago and I can attest to His faithfulness in this area. I know He’ll do the same for you — because that’s what He’s promised.
Not everyone is a believer. This commenter stated, “Twenty years ago at the age of thirty when I outgrew Christianity and found my own truth, my life improved enormously and wealth and well-being hasn’t stopped pouring in since.”
I’ve known many Christians who tithe and yet struggle financially. Why aren’t they experiencing the “blessings” others have received? I don’t think God has anything to do with it. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with giving 10 percent to your church, but in the end a debt free and prosperous life is more about learning to live within your means than “storing up treasures in heaven.”
Shouldn’t we be concerned with the good ole here and now? Arianna Huffington said it best and writes, “Near the beginning of Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta’s Tony Manero, frustrated that his boss thinks he should save his salary instead of spending it on a new disco shirt, cries out, ‘F— the future!’ To which his boss replies: ‘No, Tony, you can’t f— the future. The future f—s you! It catches up with you and it f—s you if you ain’t prepared for it!’”
We can’t dismiss the future. The debt incurred today eventually catches up with us. Anton Chekhov once said,
When you live on cash, you understand the limits of the world around which you navigate each day. Credit leads into a desert with invisible boundaries.
Borrow responsibly and learn to live within your means. Then if you’re so inclined, thank God that you’ve prospered.
Nina blogs about money at Queercents, a syndicate of personal finance writers helping the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community lead a debt-free life.