20 Things That Rock About Being Debt Free

I have been debt free for (almost) three years.  The following is inspired by a conversation that I had recently with a good friend – a buddy of mine who has decided that now is the time to do something about his debt.  I’m very proud of him, and I hope this post inspires him – and you!

1.  I now live in the present, and not in the past.

2.  I no longer worry about late fees, interest rate changes, interest payments, lost payments or finance charges.

3.  I have peace of mind.  If something were to happen to me, my wife would not have to worry about our finances.

4.  I earn interest.  I don’t pay interest.  This feels awesome.

5.  I am now acutely aware of the value of a dollar.  In the past, if I could make payments, I could afford it.  Now, if I can’t pay for it, I can’t afford it.  This basic shift in thought has radically changed my life.

6.  I no longer dread going to the mailbox.

7.  I can afford to fund retirement accounts.

8.  I can afford to fund education savings accounts.

9.  I am free from the emotional baggage associated with debt.  It’s impossible to adequately describe how good it feels to be debt free.  Suffice to say, if I had known how awesome being debt free feels, I would have gotten out of debt a decade ago!

10.  I can, hopefully, inspire and encourage others.

11.  I am setting a much better example for my kids.

12.  I am able to give more time and more money to those who are in need.  There are only three things one can do with money – give, save, and spend.  It feels good to save.  It feels good to spend.  It feels great to give.

13.  I now know that I can establish a goal, push through difficult times, and change my life.  These truths are helping me as I now focus on my health – losing weight and becoming a runner.  I might has been replaced by I will.

14.  I now make big plans.  I have learned to dream of a better and brighter future for myself and my family.

15.  I spend a little extra on nicer things for my wife.  In the past, credit card debt crippled me.  Now, with a proper budget and some forward thinking, I can actually plan for nicer things.

16.  I can disregard every credit card application that comes my way.

17.  I have found solid financial footing.  With my debts eliminated and an emergency fund in place, I feel much more secure than I did three years ago.  None of us knows what the future holds, but I feel much better now than I did then.  Much better.

18.  I can listen to my man Dave Ramsey and smile knowingly when callers scream “We’re Debt Free!”.

19.  I have a deep respect for those who have paid off much more than I paid off – and for those who are still in the midst of their debt reduction journeys.  I am amazed by some of the debt reduction stories that I have read over the past four years.

20.  I can write this post.  When I started No Credit Needed, I had one goal.  I wanted to be debt free.  It took 10 months, but I managed to pay off my last debt in February of 2006.  Since then, I’ve done my best to be honest, open, and forthright about my struggle and my successes.  I hope that this site blesses you as much as it has blessed me.

If you are ready to get out of debt – and start your own journey towards being debt free – may I suggest the following resources?

No Credit Needed Debt Reduction Guide


No Credit Needed Debt Reduction Free eBook

Debt Reduction 101

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38 thoughts on “20 Things That Rock About Being Debt Free
  1. Mr. GoTo

    Congratulations NCN on this three year achievement. May I suggest that you add another benefit to the list: I no longer obsess about what is happening to my credit score.

     
  2. BankerBryan

    Yes, Congrats! This is such an inspirational article your 20 reasons are a great recap for you and great goals for others.

    I know how it feels to “Save” knowing that the interest I earn pales in comparison to the interest I pay. Someday I will be debt free too, and I can’t wait.

     
  3. Jennifer

    Thanks for this blog. You are an inspiration! Living with out debt and the necessity for credit cards his liberating. I agree with BankerBryan…some day I hope to be debt free soon, hopefully sooner than later.

     
  4. crazyliblady

    Yes, what an amazing feeling it is. I felt the same way after my dh and I paid off our Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. I had another couple of lessons to learn, though, like the necessity of emergency savings and not trading in a working vehicle for one older than I am that was in poor condition to say it nicely. Yes, I can honestly say I was talked into that second one, although I can’t figure out how. We have since traded it for a 1995 Pontiac which is in pretty good condition. The good news is that the first time with the bankruptcy, we were up to our eyeballs in debt to the tune of $50,000. No, none of it was mortgage, all credit cards, a car, child support, and failed business debt. This time the amount was about $10,000, but after 2 1/2 years, it is down to $2,900. Yea. It does feeling amazing and is getting better every day. I do have a savings account, but it sometimes feels weird to put money into savings earning 1% when the credit card APR is 14%.

     
  5. Mrs. Accountability

    We were debt free once upon a time. I wish we were back there… I sometimes feel like I’m juggling a whole set of china plates, one wrong move and everything crashes down. I have most of our credit cards at 0% but I worry throughout the month if I made the payment, even though I know I did, I check every week just to make sure. I don’t want those rates to jump up!

     
  6. The Happy Rock

    Great post! You know I love these posts. There are so much fun to write.

    I think you are right about not being able to describe the feeling of being debt free. It is something that needs to be experienced after all of the hard work. After you are free to go right back into debt if you don’t like it.

     
  7. Single Guy Money

    NCN, congratulations on being debt free for three years! I am not completely debt free yet but I know how it felt when I paid off all of my credit card debt and my car loan.

    Once I get rid of my student loans, the mortgage is next!

     
  8. Studenomics

    It’s a great feeling and I know how you feel. I work full time during the school year so that I can make a profit during College and my only debt would be my rental property. I’m not worried about this debt because I don’t live in the property so it’s not really considered debt and since it makes me a little bit of money I got no complaints. The greatest thing a young person could do is to avoid credit cards, I mean I use them but never max them and never buy anything unless I have the money in another account ready to transfer.

     
  9. Jason from MoneyTheory

    That’s awesome to have that feeling – thanks for sharing. I too have paid off a large amount of credit card debt, and have been free from it for many years. I take a lot of pride in keeping things that way, and really enjoy the feeling of paying for everything in full, and setting aside money in savings.

     
  10. Money Mentor

    That’s a great accomplishment!! I’m sure it has definitely helped out your stress level and probably improved the quality of your marriage. Once you go debt free.. there’s no going back!

     
  11. Robert Drescher

    Betting the debt monkey off your back is great, if you notice though most of the list is about being free is it not? It really points out just how big a bunch of slaves we are if we do not do something about getting rid of our debts.

    NCN and all you others out there keep pushing debt freedom I will also, iif you need some advice about budgets checkout budgetingsense.com I have loads of free info and resources.

     
  12. The Greenest Dollar

    NCN,

    What an awesome post! I hear you from my heart on this. I’m currently working on my last, biggest, most outrageous debt: my mortgage. I’m half-way there to getting it paid off, and I know that once I do I’m going to feel like a soaring hawk in the summertime!

    Thanks for the inspiring article.

     
  13. The Greenest Dollar

    NCN,

    Thanks so much for this inspiring post! I hear you from my heart on this. I’m currently working on my last, big, outrageous debt: my mortgage. I’m halfway there to getting it paid off, and I know that once I do I’m going to feel like a soaring hawk in the summertime.

    Thanks for this great article! You brought up a lot of points I hadn’t really thought of before.

     
  14. JeepCJ5

    It is a great feeling being debt free. I retired after 35 years in the Telecommunications industry and live very nicely on Social Security only. My standard of living is exactly the same and I have $600 bucks a month (after all living expenses) to spend as I want because I owe no one. Yes, it took planning but it’s nice to know I will be leaving the bulk of my estate to my two Grandchildren.

     
  15. HunterDick

    My wife and I became debt free, including our mortages in March of 2008. What a great feeling. We are experiencing a lot less stress.

     
  16. When You Own Stuff Stuff Owns You

    Congratulations NCN! I have been there and I slept very well at night not worrying about “the bills”. Saved and paid cash for kids college tuition and not one of my sons has a credit card! They get the principle that the borrower is slave to the lender. I drive a 11 year old pickup that I paid for with cash and hope to drive for at least 5 more years! Paid cash for my home when I moved to town which “freaked out” the realtor because he said, “We could buy a much larger house”. Meaning he wanted a larger commission and was happy to strap us with a big mortgage!

    We encourage each of you reading this to, as Ramsey says, “Live like no one else, so one day you can live like no one else!”

    We don’t live in a cave, or live like paupers; first we give some away to others and put some away for our family then we pay for trips and other fun as we go. In fact, We just spent a week in December in the Cayman Islands, because we don’t have payments on “stuff.”

     
  17. Mark

    WOW! I wish I could be in his shoes. I always feel I am one step closer to being debt free. I plan on using my taxes to free myself from big debt that I have left. Once I am done there I will only have my student loan and car payment left. It feels good and I am happier. I always would put off paying them off and just make the minimal because I always hate letting money go in large amounts but now I have paid off two credit cards and now moving to the next and hope to get that paid off with my tax return. I have a question and hope that some of you can advise me on this. I have paid off my credit cards but still have them open I had planned on closing them completely but have heard that you get dinged for closing them down. I would rather close them so that I dont have temptation to use them. Basically all I want to use is my bank debit card. I would like one CC with a low limit for using at places where my debit card will not work. any comments would be appreciated.

     
  18. Laura

    This is for Mark, above my comment:

    Close the accounts. Who cares if it dings your credit score – like Dave Ramsey says, you don’t need a credit score if you pay cash for everything. As for leaving the one CC active, with only a small credit limit – make sure the limit is super small, like, $200 or less, or you may end up buying something you shouldn’t. Or, better yet – don’t use a debit or credit car, and pay cash instead. If it is something you really want, but don’t have the money on you – ask the salesperson to hold it for you, run down the street to an ATM or bank, and get the money to pay for it – if they won’t accept your debit card. Life is possible without a credit card, though the entire world seems to disagree with us on this – just ask any rental car company, because they are the world’s worst.

     
  19. DebtFreeDave

    NCN,
    Congrats on your 3 year anniversary of being debt-free! Despite the name, I still have a year left on my car and then it’s just the mortgage…it must be a great feeling knowing that with all the stuff going on right now in the economy, that it doesn’t really affect you for the most part.

     
  20. Ken

    Congratulations toyou! I can’t wait to get there one day. I admire yout diligence to reach your gol. I’m a new blogger and love to read about peoples’ stories. I’ll be back.
    Kudos to you!

     
  21. freefromdebt

    Awesome! Dave Ramsey changed our lives…almost 75k paid off in 2.5 years…just a little left on the SL…then we’ll be screaming too! It’s amazing how many people still buy into the FICO garbage and that debt is a tool!

     
  22. headknocker

    NCN,

    Dude you are really weird (in a good way). Getting out of debt and sticking to a budget has been great for our marriage. The freedom to do things that we want without feeling guilty is truly an awesome feeling.

     
  23. steelel

    well as of 9:00 am this morning. i am debt free of loans, credit cards, everything. well i had surgery a couple of month ago and owe my doc a little for that, but it will be paid off the end of this week. i took my tax refund and knocked tha last of it out. i have canceled or closed all credit cards i had. i do have a debit card that i use a lot but then again if its not in the bank i dont spend it. one thing that has made a huge difference for me is being DILLIGENT about balancing my checkbook. i do it everyday and i keep my check register neat and clean. it is accurate to the penny every day. it does make a difference.

     
  24. Liz

    Being debt-free is a GREAT feeling – you don’t realize how freeing it is until you’re there! Three years ago I graduated college with $20,000 in student loans – I put over 2/3 of my income towards my loans to get this paid off in a year. Being debt free was AMAZING! I got married 8 months after becoming debt-free and started tackling my husband’s $100,000 in student loans – starting with a big $10,000 hit. That was a year and a half ago. We’re putting over 2/3 of our income on the debt again and are over halfway done! We hope to be back to debt-free in March 2012!

    Thank you for your inspiring post! EVERYONE can become debt-free!!

     
  25. Richie

    Absolutely agree with the feeling you get when its over, I’am 25 an very recently got lucky on a PPI reclaim which was enough to pay off everything I had left to owe, an had more than enough to box off christmas.

    Each 28th day on the month for the past 10years, I have paid off stupid debts that have left me with absolutely nothing to show for it, with thanks to my idiot teenage years and impulse credit buying.

    The smile on my face after that final transactin could not be wiped by anyone and I’am humbled by the fact that I’ve scraped and scrampped my way through those 10years…no idea how but I’AM FINALLY DEBT FREE (Smiling like a manic while writing this comment haha)

    If I could give advice to anyone out there looking to get debt free asap I would say, always be in touch with your creditors, the more you put it off the more they will hastle you and give you reminders everyday with phonecalls,emails and letters that you are trying to break a contract which you agreed to….

    The one thing that got me motivated was a pair of bailiffs came to my workplace and asked to speak to me, I wasn’t in the office as I was in a meeting but once I came down my colleague told me that they had came and asked for the £680 I owe them..I felt so ashamed and wanted them to lay off me. DONT LOOSE HOPE!

     
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