The Best Debt Quotes I Wish I’d Known in My Early 20s

Everyone should know these inspirational debt quotes from an early age. Quotes on debt are a stark warning to us about what we’re getting ourselves into.

I SO wish I’d known these best debt quotes and taken them to heart in my early 20s.

How much hardship and embarrassing life episodes I’d have avoided!

Here’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from living with debt:

The moment you accumulate debt, your life turns to reactive mode.

Anyone with a sizable debt would know this.

With bills to pay and an enormous debt to clear, it’s practically impossible to make a proactive life plan.

Life comes to a halt, evolving around paying off debt and nothing else.

Debt can take over your life, ruining any chance of living a financially independent life we all want.

Good news?

It’s never too late to listen to these wise people’s words, fix bad money habits, start budgeting, start paying off debt and take back control of your finances.

Bookmark this page.

Every time you’re tempted to buy some shiny objects, let this timeless wisdom be your inspiration and reinforce you with the right money mindset.

It’ll help you stay clear of debt, stop yourself from accumulating more debt, and focus on creating a wealthy life you thoroughly deserve.

The Best Debt Quotes I Wish I’d Known in My Early 20s

Live Below Your Means

Annual income, twenty pounds; annual expenditure, nineteen pounds; result, happiness. Annual income, twenty pounds; annual expenditure, twenty-one pounds; result, misery.

– Charles Dicken

How much we earn isn’t as important as how much we spend (and keep). 

Heed this number one money lesson: live below your means.

When you learn to live below your means, you’ll be free from money troubles.

So, with all might, fight the urge to borrow money.

Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

– Henry Wheeler Shaw

And you know what?

Ditch the crowd who says “everyone has debt”.

What they’re doing is normalising debt.

Instead, aim to become your own bank and never owe a dime to anyone.

Because debt isn’t a mere inconvenience.

Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.

– Samuel Johnson

In the long run we shall have to pay our debts at a time that may be very inconvenient for our survival.

– Norbert Wiener

Payback time for debt may show up at the most inconvenient time.

May not be tomorrow or next week, but sure will show up because we all know there’s no free lunch.

And when it does, your future self has no choice on the matter.

She will have to pay up even at the most inconvenient time, such as illness or redundancy.

Small Money Habits

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.

– Warren Buffett

Watch out the smallest lifestyle money habits throughout the day.

It’s easy to pick up a daily latte on our way to work either out of habit or because everyone in the office does.

Many delight more in giving of presents than in paying their debts.

– Sir Philip Sidney

Tiny habits make you insensitive to spending.

The trouble is, spending breeds more spending.

Debt may have started small. But suddenly, you find yourself buying everything on credit.

Then there comes the hangover.

Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately, and it gives you a lift. The hangover comes the day after.

– Joyce Brothers

Okay –   the hangover the next day is not bad.

But drinking every day and suffering from hangover for weeks, months and years?

That’s no fun, nor is it tolerable.

The effect of today’s pleasure repeated weeks, months and years compounds.

It rolls in all at once in 20+ years.

That’s when you wish you had nourished your body with more goodies and less alcohol.

Just as you wish you hadn’t accumulated so much debt.

And you wonder why you don’t have money. Yet, you have so much stuff filled to the brim everywhere in the house.

The man who never has money enough to pay his debts has too much of something else.

– James Lendall Basford

Stuff you haven’t used for the past 6 months can tell you a couple of things:

  • How much stuff you already have.
  • How bad your money habits were (and are).
  • They aren’t as important to you as you thought: you haven’t used them for 6 months!

If you find yourself with lots of stuff and a hefty debt, make paying off debt your priority by cutting expenses to the bone.

Have a no-spend day for 30 days and see how liberating it makes you feel.

No spend challenge is a great way to take back control of your finances and stop you from becoming a 21st-century slave.

When you get in debt, you become a slave.

– Andrew Jackson

A modern-day slave is our own doing because of instant gratification.

So, Guard Pleasure

Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he’s really selling himself to it.

– Benjamin Franklin

Pause for a moment and think about today’s pleasure you indulge: what it would do to your family and your future self.

Because that’s what separates the rich from the poor.

Rich people plan for four generations. Poor people plan for Saturday night.

– Gloria Steinem

Final Thoughts

I wish I’d known these quotes and taken them to heart in my early 20s.

I’d be in so much better shape financially.

If you have a habit of spending money as you earn, it’s important to learn to pay for yourself first and prepare for your future.

Freedom, security, choices and peace of mind are the best things money can buy.

We can have all of them with budgeting and paying for ourselves first.


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