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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Living a debt-free life

    For over a decade, I worked with a TVS group company -- the largest industrial group of South India. They present Management is complete with fourth generation owner-managers, all of whom have degrees in engineering and advanced degrees in Management, from the best institutions in Germany, USA and UK.

    Yet, they follow, very faithfully one great principle taught to them by their grand-fathers and fathers. They are superbly wedding to the idea of zero-debt companies. Even if they borrow, they do so for very small periods of up to two years or less, from a superb non-banking financial company called Sundram Finance. The debt is repaid very quickly.

    This extends to every single TVS group company, and they do not do injustice to any stakeholder. The employees are paid industry level wages and perks and they value loyalty. The employees also follow the same principle. ( this author included).

    However, we see just the opposite in our society. The younger generation wants to bu flats and apartments right in the heart of cities like Bengaluru or Chennai, where even independent houses are available at prices that are even fifty percent cheaper. And those areas also have good schools. Even if they do not get to live in those houses for a while, it is worthwhile to invest in these houses, so that they loans can be repaid quickly.

    Similarly, the present fifty and sixty plus parents find it so difficult to adjust to the changing demands of the sons or daughters and grandchildren, who seem to demand every possible luxury, at a very young age. They hate any advise and deem it a great pleasure to do what they want to do. The result: debts, all the time, with credit cards actively encouraging spending much more than what needs to or can afford.

    What alternatives do we have? We can only go on telling them and advising them on the need to live within their means. We can point out the dangers of conspicuous consumption, as it were, pointing out how middle-class people or the upper middle-class people need to exercise caution in whatever they do. We also need to educate them on the importance of saving for very long periods and investing in investment vehicles like the Public Provident Fund.

    However, all this is very difficult with this "here and now" generation.

    We can bring out a greater awareness in the society, through good case-studies of men and women, who have always lived within their limits, have been able to save for their future, and have lived very healthy lives. Off and on, we can have a frank dialogue with them, impressing on them the huge difference between needs and wants.

    As far as elders are concerned, even unconsciously, we are living very simple lives. We always concentrate on needs, cutting down on all unimportant expenditure. We put off air-conditioners after a while and travel by second class sleeper in trains. We are far away from all sorts of junk food.

    It is essential that we stay this way, as the present thirty-plus generation and their children, learn at least a little from us. As regards spreading the message of debt-free living, we can try to spread the message to as many people as possible, particularly those who feast on non-vegetarian food as if there were no tomorrow, and end up with the worst of diseases. We can also counsel them on savings for the future.
  • #634875
    An excellent, lovely and lively thread from the author. The readers should understand and act accordingly. Debt is a serious thing. There is a Tamil quote "Kadanpatta Manithanpol Kalanginaan Ilangai Vendhan" -( The Lanka King Ravana worried like a debtor when he kidnapped Sita and kept her in exile.)
    No life without Sun

  • #634882
    My father was the eldest son of a middle-class family and he father expired when he was in intermediate. He discontinued the studies and joined a small company to take care of the mother and brothers. Those days my grandfather borrowed about Rs.10000/- which my father had to repay this loan from his salary while taking care of the family. So he always used to advise me that we should plan our expenditure. If we have Rs.100/- we should spend only Rs.90/- and the remaining should be saved for any emergencies. Even today, he follows the same principle at his age of 85 years. I was trained by him and I never take any loan I want to be debt free. By the grace of God, I have no debts. At the age of 60 years, I follow the same principle and but when the same issue discussed with my sons they feel I am very very rigid. They say that we need not worry about savings. It is always a boon to live a life without debts. This will give us more happiness and strength.
    always confident

  • #634923
    There is nothing wrong to borrow money from others, taking loan from bank or private persons and then paying them back with interest. But the problems comes when we are not having the source to repay and the debt gets doubled with interest not being paid and compound interest levied. In Hyderabad people are habituated to take cars on loan and seldom pay the monthly installments. and the finance companies are engaging the goons to collect the interest and capital every month. But some are intelligently changing their residences address and living elsewhere without knowing to credit companies and even changing the mobile numbers. So the goons would be sitting at the road corners with list of defaulters in their hand and when they spot any such car plying on that road, they will catch the same at the next signal and seize the car. So the fall out of debt is very nasty.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #634977
    I advise the author to see the title once. I feel it is debt-free life but debt fee life. You can do the correction as required. When I have responded to the thread I missed it. Just now I have seen and hence mentioning this.
    always confident

  • #635691
    The concept of a debt-free life is not possible, if you are a middle-class family, want to earn legally, pay the taxes, have not inherited riches and have a dream of owning your first house and giving your children a good education.

    Every honourable parent or head of a family undergoes a dilemma often when it comes to meeting the family expenses and stretching beyond our earnings not to lead a luxurious life but a decent life. The middle-class family is always playing catch up with regards to the price of land/apartment/home, education etc due to the ever-increasing inflation and increasing demands on a relatively fixed source of income every month.

    So, a debt-free life for such people is a distant dream but it is debt for a good cause because we have to do certain things at the right time and waiting for money in hand would mean precious time slips by us.

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