I can hear the anti-debt minions coming up the street with torches and spikes for my head. Unfortunately, for some people debt is a necessary evil. The end goal should be not to take on more debt than you need to, and not to maintain debt.
Think about it. How many people could ever buy a house with cash? The goal is not to overpay, and to pay off your home as quickly as possible.
Right now, I’m in a bit of a no-win situation. We were saving up money to fix my husband’s car because it unexpectedly blew a valve, however, I’ve been informed that my professional licensing from Nevada will not transfer to Oregon without an additional 40 hours of education. The cost to fix my husband’s car is $1500, and the cost for my education, $1200. I am being kept unemployed by bureaucracy.
One or the other will need to go on a credit card, because I refuse to drain our emergency fund at this moment. It’s a catch-22; I’ve been in my field for so long, I’m not really qualified to do anything else, but I can’t continue in my field without spending the money. My husband’s car is the fuel-efficient and (generally) more reliable one. Fixing his car will save us $100/month in gas alone.
So while I would rather not take on any extra debt, I also don’t want to sit around waiting for my unemployment to run out. I am currently looking at this money as a business investment. I already have potential clientele at a value of $550/month over and above potential employment.
I will do everything possible to keep paying down all of our debt, and remember that like something else, ahem, debt happens.