When we discuss finances — loans, payments, credit cards, investments, and mortgages — there is usually one important item missing from the discussion: risk.
It’s scary how much we ignore it. Perhaps we hope that if we don’t even acknowledge risk, we can’t be harmed by it.
I’m far from a scaredy cat. I take calculated risks every day as I commute fifty miles on a motorcycle with a full set of gear. However, realize the difference between this and signing up for a mortgage which is more than 30% of your take-home pay.
One puts strains on your marriage and makes it hard to breathe, financially speaking. It is a landmine which must be avoided again and again to avoid deep troubles.
And I’m not talking about the motorcycle.
Be fully aware of what you risk by borrowing money. Your marriage, because financial problems are one of the biggest reasons for divorce. Your relationship with the family member or close friend, who cosigned for you when banks would not bet on you. Your retirement, because your decades of credit card and student loan payments prevented you from investing money each paycheck.
Your car, which is three months away from repossession if payments dry up. Your home, if you get behind on your mortgage and go into foreclosure. Your freedom, if you don’t pay taxes and go to prison.
Your reputation, if you have a poor history of paying people back. Your pride, if you lose your job. Your shame, if you can no longer afford the lifestyle you are accustomed to.
Your sanity, because depression and suicide are strongly linked to bankruptcy.
Let’s not be naive about money.
And its undeniable risks no one likes to talk about.
What are you risking right now because of your finances?