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 I might has been replaced by I will.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?