As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my wife and I just celebrated our fifth year of living debt free.
Here’s how our decision to get out of consumer debt changed our lives:
We do not pay interest. We earn it.
This one is pretty obvious. Instead of paying interest to various credit card companies or financial institutions, we earn interest on our savings. Even though rates are relatively low, it feels much better to earn than to pay.
We do not feel the weight of debt. We have escaped it.
This one might be more important than the first one. I simply hate the feeling associated with having debt. As a human being, I am extremely risk-averse. Before we decided to get out of debt, I worried about our financial future. Worry has been replaced by peace.
We do not have to pay for the past. We plan for the future.
I love it in Philippians where Paul writes that he is – forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. That’s exactly how I feel about debt. I don’t like to live in the past – and that’s what making payments forced me to do. I was constantly paying for the past, and unable to truly plan for the future. Now, I can, unencumbered.
We do not have to keep rewarding ourselves. We spend only what we have.
This one is little odd and might be difficult to explain, but I’ll give it a shot. Back when we borrowed money, it was difficult to tell ourselves no. If we wanted something, and could make payments, we bought it. Over time, rewarding ourselves with newer cars and more stuff – instead of being fun – grew burdensome. Now, we have a built in mechanism for controlling our spending and curbing our purchases. We live on a budget and we can only spend what we have. If we hit zero, that’s it.
We do not have to look for motivation. We move forward every day.
When we were in debt it was difficult to find motivation to save. Why save up money, when we were only going to have turn around and send it to some credit card or finance company? Now, however, motivation is easy to find. With each savings deposit, we move closer and closer to our ultimate financial goals.
We do not live in fear. We make better decisions.
Nearly one year ago, we decided to finance the purchase of a house. We only did so after four years of life without any payments. We waited until we were comfortable – and then we found a great house, at a great price, in a great location. Technically, we are only consumer debt free, but our goal is to be debt free (plus the house), in less than 10 years. Buying a house was not a burden, but a blessing, because we do not have to worry about high-interest consumer debt.
For further reading check out – 20 Things That Rock About Being Debt Free.
I have several more living debt free articles coming your way this week. I hope you’ll enjoy the series. Please consider subscribing to No Credit Needed via free daily email or rss – and be sure to follow me over at twitter.com/NCN. If you do follow me, be sure to say hi.
One last note: If you have your own personal fiance blog and have written about paying off your debt, contact me with the link. Rock on.