The Voluntary Life: 81 Freedom From Debt

22 October 2012

81 Freedom From Debt

This episode is about the freedom that comes from getting out of debt.

We live in a time when being in debt is the norm in our society. The basis of the debt culture lies in government policies (such as inflating the money supply and artificially lowering interest rates) that actively incentivise individuals to get into debt. These government policies filter through into opportunities for debt everywhere that are encouraged by mainstream culture. For example: student loans for college, credit for consumer goods,  the mainstream ideal of home ownership and the mortgage debt that goes with it. Debt becomes a way of life for most people, which can lead to rationalising it and being over-optimistic about it's impact.

Ultimately debt always reduces your financial freedom. It is always restricting the freedom of action of  your future self. Jake talks about his experience of being in debt and getting out of debt. The podcast goes on to focus on the benefits of being debt free:

  • The main benefit is in increasing your freedom of action when you are out of debt
  • When debt is cleared it removes a constant source of worry
  • Deciding on how to use your money can be a pleasure again and an aspect of freedom
  • Removing debt is an aspect of self-care: it is financial self-care
This podcast and blog summary contains only my personal opinions, it does not constitute financial advice and I am not a financial advisor.

Podcast episode


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I completely agree with Jake here. Debt can be a big burden, which can be a hindrance to personal growth or development. Being debt free is such a relief! Most of the US citizens get used to the idea of debt at a very early age only. I find the Student loans very disturbing, since it’s something that you can’t even shake off. Not even bankruptcy can help you to get rid of the student debts. Thus, student debts in the nation are at an all time high, probable the second largest form of consumer debt after mortgage.

  3. Hi Jake valuable podcast. Your point about swimming against the tide is important. Debt restrains our freedom but I think there may be unconscious motivations to maintain it. There is something frightening about freedom. Even when people manage to free themselves of debt they often find another way to sabotage that freedom. Strangely debt can free people of the responsibility that self care requires.

    Since coming across your blog I have read material from several advocates for freedom and my observation so far is that what people actually do wit freedom is rather vague.


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