I certainly can't blame my parents for my problems with debt. They were very conservative with their money and lived debt-free. Mom used coupons and dad shopped the scratch-n-dents (In fact, I don't remember many appliances that didn't have some sort of scratch or dent).
When I finally hit bottom with my debt, I was $40k in the hole with $20k of that coming from credit cards alone. I knew that I needed to get a grip and wake-up. I was living in a dream world where I figured the next big “gig” would get me out of the hole and set me on the path to easy street.
One of the things that motivated me to get out of debt was the idea that I might be leaving quite a mess for my family if I were to “kick it”. I didn't want to leave a legacy of debt. I wanted the same legacy that my parents were going to be leaving me: no debts to their name, a paid-off house and the peace in knowing they were not a slave to the creditors.
Five years after I hit bottom with my debt, I paid off the last of my school loan. I cannot adequately describe the feelings I had that day – but it was one of great relief. Like a load lifted from my shoulders. The years of sacrifice were worth it. My “mess” had been cleaned up.
Here's to a debt-free legacy for us all!