It’s time to get Angry!

  • Ruth
  • 2nd of May 2018
  • advice
  • debt reduction

I listen to the Dave Ramsey podcast a bit, I don’t know why I do it exactly because he talks pretty much exclusively about getting out of debt and staying out of debt. I had absorbed this very message about ten years before I even heard of the guy so had already got out and debt and I’ve also stayed out of debt. BUT it is just endlessly fascinating hearing from the people who ring up his radio show and ask him endless questions about mortgages and consumer debt. Americans appear to have an awful lot of both! And patiently, even though he must have given the same answer a 1000 times, he answers people’s questions.

One thing that often surprises me though is that there are other people who listen to his show and proudly tell him on air “Dave, I have driven to work with you on the radio for 10 years now” but then go on to admit that they have not taken a single piece of his free advice and are still stuck in debt and making dumb decisions with their money. And I wonder why this is.

Why do people in effect know the answer to their own problem, but not then solve their own problem and how does listening to a very forthright christian American who yabbers on about being financially free have anything at all to do with the NZHL readers of this article?

I know a handful of people who are with NZHL and they fall into two groups:

  1. Those who have their lending with NZHL. Fullstop.
  2. Those who are sick and tired and extremely FED UP with giving all of their money away each and every month to a banker. Those who have decided to take the shortest path possible to RID THEMSELVES OF DEBT and have a clear focus on the final payday of their loan. They have had ENOUGH of debt and simply looking at their bank balance is incentive enough to work harder, live smarter, stop spending and get out of debt as soon as humanly possible and they actively use the tools of NZHL to help them do it.

Dave Ramsey says to people who phone him that they have got to get “disgusted”, they have to say “ENOUGH, I am not living this way, with this endless debt anymore!” And when people go on his show to do their “debt free scream” (google it, they are great) he often asks them what event happened to make them FINALLY get disgusted enough to take action.

For so many people right here in New Zealand having debt is just a way of life and they trundle through this life making payments and rolling one mortgage over into another. If they want something, they use debt to achieve it and handing over a percentage of their pay packet each month is as comfortable as taking a family holiday once a year to the same camp site. For them, this is life, this is how you do it.

But for a few amongst us, myself included, we are group two and we get disgusted at going to work, making $1,000 and out of that money always paying someone else first. I know that very early in my mortgage I HATED this concept and I called time on it. The thought that I would continue to do this for the next 20 years made me ANGRY. So, I took control, took action and changed my future instead and made the decision that whatever I wanted to purchase in the future, I will pay cash for it. No excuses.

What level of comfort do you find yourself at today? Are you staring down the barrel of paying someone first for the next 10, 20 or 30 years and giving up your freedom to do it? Is it enough yet to make you squirm or are you just about to flick onto something else to read online instead of finishing this? Or are you like the guy who listened to the right advice for ten years and are yet to act? Or is today your day?

One day, something will make you act. You will lose your job, you may realise you hate your job, you or your spouse may become ill and you may realise for the first time that the status quo will not always remain and your ability to service this debt may not always be there. Something that is deeply personal to YOU will trigger you to say “I have finally had ENOUGH!”

And maybe I was just plain old lucky when my disgust was triggered about four months after getting my first mortgage and I decided from that moment on to kill my debt and never take on any more. Today I observe others deep in debt, on the seemingly endless merry go round of debt repayments, but seemingly comfortable and I wonder when their “aha” moment is coming and if or when they might have their own epiphany and make a decision to change their own future, because it has to come entirely from them.

And for the people who have had a glimpse of the freedom that no monthly payments give you, but are still aggressively paying down debt I say this:

  • Stay motivated
  • Keep at it
  • Live on far less than you make
  • Be relentless at making those extra payments

Because I can promise you that putting the debt chapter of life behind you once and for all and buying your freedom does feel as good as you think it will!


Happy Saving!



The information contained in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as advice. It reflects the opinions of the writer only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of NZHL (New Zealand Home Loans).

Ruth - the happy saver Author
  • Ruth Author

Ruth is a guest blogger for NZHL. She lives in Central Otago with her husband and daughter. Her career has pivoted many times, with the one constant being adapting to change. She writes about her personal finance journey in NZ over at

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