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Time To Grow Up

by Don Current on March 15, 2011

Grow Up

photo courtesy David Scannell

Have you ever heard this reason given when someone commits to something? “It’s time for me to grow up and start being responsible.” On the surface, it’s a pretty good response. If they’re deciding to settle down and get married, it’s probably a good thing. If they’re getting off of mom and dad’s couch and getting a job, it’s probably a good thing. There’s a couple of situations that I’ve heard though, that are just an excuse, and a very poor one at that.

For some reason, people have started to equate being burdened with debt to being grown up. I’ve heard people say that they went out and bought a new car and the associated loan because it was time for them to settle down and be responsible. I’ve also heard the same reason given for buying a house without enough preparation.

Debt does not create responsibility. Do you consider the people that have been foreclosed on in our recent economy to be responsible individuals? That is the end result of taking on more debt than you can handle. The dictionary defines responsible as being  “able to be trusted or depended upon; reliable”. I doubt that the person foreclosing on your house or repossessing your car would use those terms to define you.

Responsibility comes from taking ownership of our actions and making wise, informed decisions. Planning ahead, saving toward a goal, and then realizing that goal are responsible actions. Accepting a little less than what you could buy in order to stay within your means is a responsible decision.

If you want to “grow up and be responsible”, get yourself on a budget. Start saving for future purchases. Pay for things with cash. Always repay your obligation on time and in full. Don’t rely on others to bail you out. Those are the actions of a responsible adult.