I was talking to a friend the other day, and he asked me, “What’s the big deal about being debt-free?”. Here is a summary of my answer:
I do not have to worry about late-fees, penalties, interest charges, lost payments, universal default, or other “debt-related” issues. Instead of worrying about how to pay for items I purchased in the past, I am free to plan for the purchases that I am going to make in the future.
If something where to “happen” to me, my wife would be free from the pressure of debt. Instead, she would be able to focus all of her attention on taking care of our kids and herself.
Interest rate fluctuations work for me and not against me. If interest rates, which are currently at all-time lows, begin to creep upward, I have no worries. Why? Because, those higher rates will be working for me, in my savings account, instead of against me, in a credit account.
I have a great job, working with and for great people. I no longer work simply for a “paycheck” but I work because I am doing a job that I love.
I can fully fund my emergency fund, retirement accounts, and college savings accounts. In the past, a good portion of my income was dedicated to debt repayment. Now, that same portion (and more) is divided into my various savings accounts.
I have clearer understanding of the difference between a beneficial purchase and a silly purchase. When I was in debt, and not focused on my financial future, I would “reward” myself by purchasing a “toy”. Now, I reward myself by sending an extra $500 to my Roth IRA.
I enjoy helping other people. Living without debt ‘frees up’ more income for helping others.
I have decided to live without borrowing money. This FORCES me to be ‘intentional’ with my money. I must live on a budget, I must plan for my future, I must balance my checkbook, I must think about major purchase, I must be in control.
Living without debt (and not tapping into available credit) can be challenging, especially when you consider ALL of the major purchases that we make in our lifetimes. Cars, houses, furniture… these things cost a LOT of money. I am (TRUST ME) well aware that it will take some very, very diligent planning to live without EVER borrowing money. But, that is my goal, and that is my plan. Will I succeed? I hope. So far, I’m 15 months ‘in” and things are going well.