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Your Debt Does Not Define You








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Nor does my debt define me.  Often times when we’re struggling with debt, it feels like it consumes our lives.  I know that often times I spend way too many hours researching additional side hustles, scrutinizing our budget, or researching ways to cut costs more.  But there comes a point during a debt payoff journey that we must realize that our debt is not who we are, nor does it make us a bad person

I am not just a woman in debt.  I am:

-a wife

-a mother

-a daughter

-a sister

-a friend

-a writer

-a business owner

-an encourager

-and most of all, a child of the Living God.

All of us have dreams and hopes and plans and purposes to give and share and do on this earth.  We are important.  We make a difference on this earth, even if we think we do not.  We are important – to somebody – even if we think we are invisible.  We are special.  YOU are special.  And your debt does not change that in any way, shape or form.  So as you go about, working to find ways to achieve your goal of debt freedom, remember all of the important and special roles and dreams you have in life.

Getting out of debt is important, as it provides you with a level of security and freedom, but being and enjoying who you are and the wonderful people and things and tasks around you is more important.  So keep on working on that get out of debt plan, but remember that, debt or no debt, you…..are….AWESOME!


  1. Liz says:

    Thanks for the motivation, Laurie. You are right – debt is something we may have but it does not define WHO we are. I think I sometimes spend too much time thinking err worrying about our debt instead of just enjoying life and making the most of it. Debt is just debt and shouldn’t limit our enjoyment and fulfillment in life.

  2. J says:

    Thank you for the reminder. As I sit here trying to figure out who and how much to pay,reading your blog give me hope.

  3. “We are important – to somebody – even if we think we are invisible. We are special. YOU are special. And your debt does not change that in any way, shape or form.” <—-This 1000% agree! Great post Laurie!

  4. Thanks Laurie. Right now this post is speaking to me a little more on the trying-to-have-children front than the debt front, but it’s still inspirational. I think it can be so hard to stay positive when it seems like you’re so far in and it’s never going to change. That’s what we are big time struggling with right now. I think this post could be generalized to many different kinds of life struggles. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Laurie says:

      We’ve been there too, Dee, and I totally understand. It’s hard to find that balance between hoping and acceptance, I know. Hang in there, you guys!

  5. Great encouraging post! I need to remember this when it gets hard. It will be a long journey, but if I remember this and keep reading encouraging posts like this from my fave bloggers, I can do it!

  6. Fantastic post, Laurie! I’m struck by how much better it is to define ourselves by our roles (father, mother, friend, Christian) than our situation or goals (I’m in debt and need to get out, I need to lose weight or get fit, etc.). I’ll have to noodle on that some more.

  7. Dear Debt says:

    This is a constant reminder for me. Sometimes it feels like it makes up all that I am, especially because I focus on writing about it. But I am so much more and I need to give equal weight to those parts.

    • Laurie says:

      Me too, Melanie. I completely understand, but I’m getting sick and tired of being SO focused on it. Time to spread our wings, girl!

  8. Alicia says:

    Thank you! I have to remind myself of this all the time. It’s an interesting distinction that I’ve heard in nomenclature when describing someone… rather than saying “an indebted woman” to say “a woman with debt” or whatever the describer might be. It takes the emphasis off the describer toward being the a person first and foremost. Since I’ve started to try to make that flip in wording I kind of feel better about it being a situation, but not a definition of who I am.

    • Laurie says:

      Exactly! We are MORE than our debt – it is there, but it doesn’t have to be a part of us. Wise words you’ve written, Alicia!

  9. E.M. says:

    Your posts always bring a smile to my face! I have to admit that I do get caught up in having my student loans consume a lot of aspects of my life. It’s good to remember who we are outside of that!

  10. You go, Laurie! I LOVE this post! Your debt does not define you AT ALL. Never let it. You are so much more than it. Right now it does feel all-consuming but years from now, it will be a just a little speed bump. You are a wonderful wife, mom, friend, etc. and a great inspiration to the PF community. Thank you for the mention too. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Thank you so much, Shannon, for your ever-encouraging spirit – it is a blessing and a half to SO many people, including us. 🙂

  11. What a great post Laurie!! It is so easy to to feel defined by the “negativity” in our life because it is difficult to avoid it, but yes, we are so much more than any one aspect of our lives, especially debt.

  12. Kim says:

    It’s really easy to feel like our mistakes define us because it is easier to remember one negative embedded in 100 positives. When I really sit down and think about all the good things in my life, I hope people see me more for those than for having debt at one small point in time.

    • Laurie says:

      You’re so right, Amanda – you, and all of us, are lots of wonderful things that have nothing to do at all with our debt. 🙂

  13. jim says:

    Debt may not “define” you per se, but it certainly tells a story about who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve struggled with, etc.

    I, frankly, take a bit of pride regarding the debt I was/am in. Although I don’t recommend debt if you can avoid it, many, many times you simply can’t. We went into debt for a whole lot of reasons – none of which involved driving/having the latest, greatest whatever. No, our debt was for our education, our children’s education, safety, i.e. decent home, neighborhood, schools, medical matters that simply just have to be taken care of.

    So, at least for us, yes, our debt DOES define us. It tells the whole world where our values are and I, for one, make no apology for any of it.

    What I don’t quite understand is why there is an underlying, unspoken layer of shame in yours and your readers’ comments. So you are/have been/will be in debt – LIFE happens – and there’s no shame in that – ever. Everyone does what they need to do to take care of them and theirs.

    I seriously think if people could just get over that feeling of “I’ve failed ’cause I didn’t do everything perfectly” they, and the world, would be a whole lot better off.

    • Laurie says:

      LOVE your last statement – it’s SO true!! Our debt arrived simply due to bad choices, and I think that’s where a lot of the shame can come from, Jim. Had we managed our money properly, the way we do now, we’d be millionaires at this point, even though we’ve never made over 100k. We bought a lot of little things that added up to BIG debt that’s placed a lot of restrictions on how we live our lives and what we can buy for our children. The Bible is true when it says in Proverbs 22:7 “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” It’s frustrating to know that a lack of smart choices is now restricting so many things we can do, be, go. Sometimes it’s hard for us to accept that we’ve squandered so much of our money due to not knowing how to control our emotions, due to irresponsible decisions and the like. However, we are slowly learning to forgive ourselves so as not to disregard Christ’s great sacrifice and love for us. 🙂

  14. Thanks for the encouraging word, Laurie! It’s really sad to see how much money (or lack of it) defines people in today’s society. It has become synonymous with success or lack of success. It’s important to find our identity in things that matter.

  15. This is great! Love all your little inspiring messages! It’s a great reminder that we shouldn’t let allow anything or anyone, for that matter, to define us. You can choose whether to be the victor or the victim, it’s up to you.

  16. You go girl!! I have a tendency to wallow in my mistakes and it’s so true that we cannot left ourselves be defined by them because we are SO MUCH more than the sum of our mistakes. Nobody is perfect and I have to remind myself of that all the time. Every mistake I have made has been innocence and I need to forgive myself and move on. Sometimes I get a little stuck on the moving on part, so I really needed to hear this. Bookmarking this post for those time when I need a pick-me-up!

  17. anna says:

    I love this Laurie, and it’s so true – you’re also a motivator, so be sure to include that on your list. 😉 I know I’ve probably never said this, but you are also one of the reasons why I feel closer to church these days, so I thank you for that. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Anna, that means more to me than anything I help people with from a financial perspective, so thank you. It’s hard to see Jesus as the good and loving God that He is with all of the crap that is going on in the world, but believe you me, He is not the author of that stuff. That revelation has changed my life!

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