It never fails. You set out to pay off your debts. You’re ambitious. You snowflake money toward your debts. You go gazelle, as Dave Ramsey would say. You’re successful…for a while. Then you begin to lose steam. You start to remember the good ole days, when you could go out to eat whenever you pleased. The days when you didn’t worry about a budget, when you didn’t worry about being in debt.
I’ve been there. When you have a lot of debt to pay off, sometimes it takes years to become debt free. And sometimes you begin to question whether all your efforts are worth it. When you get to that point, it’s good to remember the benefits of being debt-free. Sometimes that’s all you need to keep going. So what are those benefits?
When you don’t owe anyone money, you never have to worry about creditors coming knocking on your door, demanding payment. You never have to fear that when the phone rings, a bill collector is on the line.
But even if you aren’t being harassed by bill collectors, paying off debt can bring a sense of security. As we’ve all learned in the last few years, job security is a thing of the past. If you’re debt free, when you lose your job, you can cut your expenses pretty far. It’s easy to cut out cable, cut the grocery bill, and go without a landline. But there’s not much you can do about a $200 a month credit card bill. Whether you have a job or not, you still owe the money.
When my husband and I were newlyweds, we thought it would be really cool to spend a year in Mexico as missionaries. It was a fun idea, but it was completely unrealistic. Why? We had student loan and credit card bills to pay. And everyone knows missionaries live on next to nothing.
When you have no debt, your life is pretty flexible. You can take a chance on a dream job, because your salary doesn’t have to cover credit card payments. You can become a missionary for a year, because you don’t have to worry about those payments due back home. You’re not tied to your credit card payments.
The most important aspect to being debt free is your control over your money. When you have large credit card or loan payments, it can feel like those creditors are controlling you. There’s so much you CAN’T do with your money, because you have to pay your debts.
But when you are debt free, you have much more control over your money. Sure, you have to pay your taxes, but beyond that, your finances are in your own hands. Do you want to travel? Save they money you were paying toward debt, so you can take that trip you want. Do you want to buy a house? Save for a house?
By paying off your debt, you free up your money for the things you WANT to do. You’re not enslaved by bills you NEED to pay.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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