To celebrate being debt-free, which happened for dh and me on June 19 last month, I changed the wording of Jefferson’s famous document and we had a family ceremony, using Zoom to connect the out -of-nest kids, so they could see us sign our Declaration of Financial Independence. We had one of the kids pretend to be Dave Ramsey and interview us, then we counted down and did our debt-free scream. Then we had cake and pie, yum!
I invite you to use the document below or change it to fit your desires and sign your own Declaration from whatever bondage you are in this coming Independence Day holiday!
Declaration of Financial Independence
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the debt which has connected them to stress and bondage, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation from debt.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, budgets are instituted among Men and Women, Husbands and Wives, Single People, and Children, deriving their just powers from the consent of the budgeted. We declare that whenever any lack of financial planning becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter their life, and to institute new money management, laying their foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety, Happiness, and Financial Peace.
Human nature, indeed, will dictate that habits long established are not easily changed; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while habits are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the financial forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of lack of money happens, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such bad money management habits and debt, and to provide new Guards: wise money habits and budgeting, budget meetings and responsible accounting, for their future security. Such has been the habitual sufferance of this family; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Money.
We, therefore, the Shumway Family, in our General Living Room and with our out of nest children, assembled online, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the help of our intentions, do, solemnly publish and declare, That these United (Last Name Here) Family Members are, and of Right ought to be, in a State of Freedom and Independence of debt forever more, excepting a home mortgage of 15 years, with a monthly payment of no more that one-fourth of our take-home pay.
We further declare that we are Absolved from all Allegiance to any non-mortgage Debt, and that all connection between us and such debt, has been totally dissolved and will remain dissolved; and that as People Free and Independent of Debt, we have full Power to levy War against debt, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent people may of right do.
For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
(Put your John Hancock here)