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3 min read

Deconstructing Debt: Reimagine Financial Well-being

Deconstructing Debt: Reimagine Financial Well-being

Money Energy Law #33:

Do not be a prisoner to debt. Instead, reduce liabilities that can be called for immediate payment.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, total household debt in the United States climbed to $17.05 trillion (that’s trillion, not billion!) in the 1st quarter of 2023.1

Debt is often viewed negatively. It can make you more prone to behavioral risks in decision-making in terms of loss aversion, framing effect, anchoring bias, and many more. Debt can affect your mental health with feelings of despair. It can lead to poor eating habits and affect your physical health. And it can eventually become unmanageable by creating higher living costs or be aggravated by a loss of employment and income.

Is it all bad?

Debt can be a tool for financial growth when used wisely. Companies use the power of borrowing to improve economies of scale, to invest in research, product inventory, planned expansion, and more. But through a consumer’s lens, what defines the good from the bad? 

A simple litmus test is to ask yourself if the planned borrowing for investing or assets has the potential to increase in value or generate income in the future, such as educational loans and mortgages. Bad debt is when you borrow money for non-essential purchases or items that depreciate over time, such as credit card purchases or consumer loans. The former can add to your Money Energy, whereas the latter detracts. The key is to generate additional wealth-building opportunities so you can apply surplus cash flow toward those debts that are hampering your ability to exponentially grow your Money Energy.

Debt impacts all walks of life.

I don’t think I need to tell you that managing debt effectively will also deliver a margin of safety for dealing with unexpected events in life or enable you to leverage available assets when opportunities arise. However, we may only associate debt as an issue for those with lower household incomes—and that’s just not the case. In truth, I have met individuals who make less than $100,000 a year and those who make over $1 million. Yet both were facing money stress, and both were a paycheck away from going broke.

The impact on Relationships

Even when you are money smart and understand the dangers of debt and loss of potential opportunities, debt can unexpectedly creep up on you and trigger your life to spiral out-of-control. This is what happened to Alexander Clark and Graham Taylor.

Alex and Graham have been happily together for over 15 years. They both had completed their DNA Natural Behavioral Discovery some years before as part of their discussions with their financial advisor, so they are aware of their behavioral profiles. Alex is an Influencer; he sets the direction, is ambitious, and is committed to the goals he sets. However, he’s anchored in his approach and prefers to follow proven methods and solutions.

On the other hand, Graham is a Reflective Thinker; he is cooperative, flexible, and fits in well, but is also open to adventure, taking chances, and optimism. Notably, Graham needs time to think and contemplate situations and is not quick to make decisions.

During their relationship, Graham has been the voice of stability and the saver. Alex takes the initiative when opportunities arise and is goal driven. He will spend money on opportunities, but not irresponsibly. Both understand the impact of Money Energy in their lives. They understand the power and capacity to generate wealth that becomes a stored force and releasable to your life at any time. And they know their relationship with money depends on a combination of natural financial behavior capability, learned financial behaviors, and how they have defined their quality of life.

What could go wrong? Turns out a lot. 

When Graham became seriously ill, requiring medical attention and unable to work, the life partners realized they were asset-rich and income poor. Rising health costs and reducing cashflow in half soon made them understand that life would have to change quickly and radically. Stress levels were rising in anticipation of debt management challenges, and dealing with the necessary changes in habits was not a strong trait for Alex. That could aggravate the situation.

Based on Graham’s natural decision-making behavioral style, Alex recognized his partner’s ability to analyze information and contributing factors. Because they both had a clear understanding of their personal identities, they were able to combine their strengths to seek out a range of opportunities that were previously ignored because they assumed both would be contributing to their lifestyle-sustaining household income. 

I won’t say this was easy for either one of them, but because of their advisor’s familiarity with the DNA Behavior platform and using what they learned through a comparison of behavioral styles, Alex and Graham were able to work better together. They made it through a very difficult period and avoided the potential mounting debt. That’s part of the learning lesson: Debt may be manageable one day and potentially a threat to your quality of life the next.

This story ends well. With the right direction, assets were sold, cash flow was released, and significant lessons were learned. New income streams were built to future-proof them against unforeseen circumstances. They realized the significance of understanding each other's inherent behavioral styles and were able to manage behaviors that could have caused challenges. This allowed them to engage in behaviors such as empathy, tolerance, and trust towards each other during this difficult time.

I hope you’ll take your journey one step further and explore the Money Energy Discovery Process, which includes completing the DNA Natural Behavior Discovery Process. Isn't it time you learned an improved method to achieve better financial wellbeing? Stay tuned every week as we continue to reveal all 40 Laws of Money Energy.

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