How to Beat Debt Fear and Anxiety and Get a Government-Backed High-Interest Reward at the Same Time

Steve Rhode
9 min readJul 19, 2022


I want to share some truths about financial fear and anxiety in this episode.

I’ll also share info on how to get a substantial government-guaranteed return on your savings, or is that statement a scam? Let’s find out.

I then want to share information about review terrorists and finish with a personal story and a debt life lesson.

But first, I wanted to share this saying which applies to dealing with money problems, Don’t Believe Everything You Think.

Listen to the Podcast


Hi, this is Steve Rhode, your Get Out of Debt Guy from

I want to share some truths about financial fear and anxiety in this episode.

I’ll also share info on how to get a substantial government-guaranteed return on your savings, or is that statement a scam? Let’s find out.

I then want to share information about review terrorists and finish with a personal story and a debt life lesson.

But first, I wanted to share this saying which applies to dealing with money problems, Don’t Believe Everything You Think.

That is an exceptional concept to remember regarding money, credit, and debt issues.

So let me repeat it, Don’t Believe Everything You Think.

Dealing with money worries amplifies your emotional brain and leads you to make poorly thought-out decisions based on what you believe rather than what you need to know.

Let me give you an example. Ron awoke in the middle of the night for the last week. His money worries infected his dreams and would not let him rest, asleep or awake.

Like most people, Ron sought the first best-sounding solution to his problems based on what he believed he should from what television personal finance celebrities said. But unfortunately, messages about cutting up credit cards or avoiding bankruptcy had drifted into his unconscious.

But think about this, what if what Ron believed was not accurate or factual information?

What if Ron decided that he should eliminate his money stress based on what others would think about him instead of what was best for him?

Like so many people I’ve interacted with over the past decades, Ron wound up getting the type of outcome he allowed himself to fall into.

Because of what he believed to be accurate, he fell in with a debt relief company that told him conventional beliefs half-truths and omitted key facts.

That resulted in years of financial struggle causing Ron to lose out on more than a million dollars in retirement savings he could have had.

It also led to his health suffering, strained relationships, and frequent fear and anxiety.

It’s a fact. Money troubles, debt, and financial problems create fear and anxiety for many. It’s normal. It’s natural.

However, your reality is created by your mind. Therefore, you can change your reality by changing your mind. Easier said than done.

Three realities create the fear and anxiety you may feel right now because of your debt.

The first fear is that of worry about what other people will think about you and your situation. If you live your life based on the fear of what other people think, you allow them to run the life you live. Live your own life. Don’t worry about what others think, and don’t value the approval of others over what is suitable for you.

Are you going to do what is best for your reality or what you think others will approve of? Why should other people’s opinions matter when you take the correct action for your present and future? And what is the right thing? Is it what you think people around you believe, or is it the measurable outcome of action through fact?

Would you rather be afraid of what you think Janet or Jim will think about you if you don’t eat beans and rice for years to get out of debt, or are you ready to learn, take action, and retire rich while her beliefs lead her to retire poor?

The second fear that grips us is of the unknown. So we run towards doing something that makes us feel less anxious as fast as possible rather than taking action that resolves the problem most effectively. This fear draws us into false promises given by some who claim there are magical solutions that have no consequences and allow us to continue on our same path.

Rather than fear change or be anxious about it, you need to realize that change is necessary to grow, overcome challenges, feel pride, and move forward to a better life.

As one philosopher said, “What can take place without change?” In the case of money troubles, unless you change your assumptions and seek facts, your fear and anxiety are created by the lack of change, not because of it.

The final debilitating debt fear is that of the unknown. Because we seek shelter in what we believe others think and what we can apply the fastest, we don’t take the time to contemplate our reality, be reflective about what is best, or seek guidance from those who can inform and educate.

Knowledge, guidance, acceptance, and purposeful execution are the better enemies of fear and anxiety.

What I’m saying here is not more complicated than Don’t Believe Everything You Think when dealing with financial problems. However, I’m also suggesting you should not follow one person blindly, including myself.

I don’t want you to follow what I or anyone says as gospel.

Instead, please think for yourself, and I encourage you to begin your research and fact-gathering to make the most rational and logical choices to overcome the reality of your situation.

I want you to decide how to get out of debt on fact, not on blind faith.

It is better to trust and verify any advice you get than set your life down a path based on a lie or a sales pitch from someone who wants to sell you some magical debt relief solution that makes them richer and you poorer.

My advice is for you to do research, seek facts, ask questions, and then, and only then, take purposeful action to deal with your debt.

I care about you and want you to make good choices that help make your life and future better.

Your Favorite Restaurant May Be Getting Scammed

If you are someone that makes decisions about where to eat based on reviews, like I do, this story may surprise you.

Many restaurant owners say they rely on customer reviews to attract new customers.

We assume restaurants with consistently low ratings may be a sign to stay away.

A new scam targeting restaurants has crooks leaving negative reviews on Google and demanding a gift card to stop the reviews.

This forces restaurant owners to decide between a constant barrage of bad reviews or coughing up some extra cash for a scammer.

Scammers threaten to leave one negative review a day until the restaurant provides them with a Google Play Gift card purchased directly from PayPal.

When restaurants complained to Google and had some of the fake and scam one-star reviews removed, it also wiped reviews from actual diners. That hurt the restaurants as well.

Scammers exist everywhere. But who knew we had to worry about review terrorists?

Is a Guaranteed Return on an Investment a Scam?

You should always be skeptical if someone promises a high rate of return if you give them money.

To help make you a wiser consumer, please double-check what I’m sharing and come to your conclusion. I want to help you to become a self-educated savvy consumer.

The United States Treasury Department offers a savings bond called the I Series.

As of this podcast, these savings bonds are paying a guaranteed 9.62 percent rate of return, which is the lowest they’ve paid. If inflation rises, so will the percentage earned. Over the years, they have been issued people have received as much as 13.18 percent. That’s not a rate of return to kick out of bed for eating crackers.

Let me show you how powerful these bonds can be for future wealth.

Individuals can only purchase $10,000 in I Series bonds a year for themselves. However, investments as low as $25 can be made monthly instead of in a single large deposit.

You save $10,000 a year in I Series Savings Bonds. If they continue to pay around 10 percent, after thirty years, you would have invested $300,000, and it would be worth about $1.7 million.

When you invest in these bonds, you must leave your money for one year, but you can take it out after that anniversary.

Interest is earned on the I Series Savings Bond each month, deposited into your account every six months and added to the bond’s principal value.

The following six-month period of interest is calculated on the new higher value. Using this strategy, your earned interest is earning interest.

So why does the United States Treasury offer these inflation-protected savings bonds?

They are designed to encourage people to save money for the future that will grow while protected against inflation. You can give them as a gift and use them to supplement your retirement income.

If you use I Series Savings Bonds for qualified higher educational expenses, you can take your money out tax-free from state and federal taxes.

I bonds earn interest for 30 years unless you cash them first. You can cash them after one year. But if you cash them before five years, you lose the previous three months of interest. (For example, if you cash an I bond after 18 months, you get the first 15 months of interest.)

There is no need to pay fees to invest in I Series Savings Bonds. You can open and self-direct your account through the Treasury Direct website.

For more information on I Series Savings Bonds, go to and search for I Series Savings Bonds.

For transparency, when I learned about the I Series Savings Bonds, my wife and I began investing in them. It is a guaranteed rate of return too significant to pass up.

A Debt Life Lesson

I want to share a couple of different events in my life.

Please listen to the stories and see how they apply to your life.

One time I had a man contact me for help with his debt. He was pretty caviler about the situation.

He owed over a million dollars in unsecured debt and sought a technical solution and a game plan to resolve the situation.

He viewed his predicament as a math problem and sought professional, experienced, and educated assistance. He had heard about me from a friend.

Soon another person contacted me, referred by another friend. Finally, he came to see me in person. As I walked out to meet him, I saw this burly man who looked intimidating.

I invited him to sit down and have a chat about his situation.

“Let’s sit over here,” I said, pointing to two chairs in a private corner.

Before we could sit down, the man approached me inside my personal space, and I didn’t know what was happening.

He collapsed in my arms and started to sob.

He told me through tears, “I’m so ashamed about my debt situation. I don’t know what to do. Is this the worst situation you’ve ever seen?”

“How much debt do you have?,” I asked.

In a whisper, he said, “$3,000.”

One person owed over a million dollars, and it didn’t seem to phase him. The other owed $3,000 and was nearly incapacitated.

The amount of debt is never important. It is just a number.

How it affects your life, mental health, self-esteem, and relationships is essential. A number is just a number.

As I held the sobbing man, he struggled to say a few more words, “Thank you for not judging me.”

I never judge people.

The worst debt situation I’ve ever seen was maybe the man afraid of what his family would say about the money problems that had grown beyond his capacity to deal with.

He had been defiant that bankruptcy was not an option. He didn’t want to be thought of as a loser. Instead, he wanted a magical solution that his family would never know about.

He ended the conversation quickly when he did not hear what he wanted. After that, I never heard from him again.

But there was a reason why.

A month later, he tried to gamble his way out of debt. He lost.

The man returned home so ashamed and troubled about his debt that he shot his wife and daughters. He then killed himself to avoid the shame of his debt. He left a note about his fear of his family finding out about his debt.

He could have been out of debt in about 90 days for less than $1,500 in legal fees, but decided murder and suicide was a better way to deal with his debt.

What a tragedy.

What a shame.

What a loss.

As I end this episode, I’d like you to remember debt problems combine simple math and complicated emotions. There is professional help out here. You do not need to feel alone, ashamed, or afraid.

Until next time, this is Steve Rhode, your Get Out of Debt Guy, reminding you to practice safe debt, don’t assume, and remember I’m here for you.

Originally published at on July 19, 2022.



Steve Rhode

Dog Rescue Pilot, Firefighter, Debt Coach, and a Nice Guy