I have been debt free for (almost) three years.Â 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.Â I’m very proud of him, and I hope this post inspires him – and you!
1.Â I now live in the present, and not in the past.
2.Â I no longer worry about late fees, interest rate changes, interest payments, lost payments or finance charges.
3.Â I have peace of mind.Â If something were to happen to me, my wife would not have to worry about our finances.
4.Â I earn interest.Â I don’t pay interest.Â This feels awesome.
5.Â I am now acutely aware of the value of a dollar.Â In the past, if I could make payments, I could afford it.Â Now, if I can’t pay for it, I can’t afford it.Â This basic shift in thought has radically changed my life.
6.Â I no longer dread going to the mailbox.
7.Â I can afford to fund retirement accounts.
8.Â I can afford to fund education savings accounts.
9.Â I am free from the emotional baggage associated with debt.Â It’s impossible to adequately describe how good it feels to be debt free.Â Suffice to say, if I had known how awesome being debt free feels, I would have gotten out of debt a decade ago!
10.Â I can, hopefully, inspire and encourage others.
11.Â I am setting a much better example for my kids.
12.Â I am able to give more time and more money to those who are in need.Â There are only three things one can do with money – give, save, and spend.Â It feels good to save.Â It feels good to spend.Â It feels great to give.
13.Â I now know that I can establish a goal, push through difficult times, and change my life.Â These truths are helping me as I now focus on my health – losing weight and becoming a runner.Â I might has been replaced by I will.
14.Â I now make big plans.Â I have learned to dream of a better and brighter future for myself and my family.
15.Â I spend a little extra on nicer things for my wife.Â In the past, credit card debt crippled me.Â Now, with a proper budget and some forward thinking, I can actually plan for nicer things.
16.Â I can disregard every credit card application that comes my way.
17.Â I have found solid financial footing.Â With my debts eliminated and an emergency fund in place, I feel much more secure than I did three years ago.Â None of us knows what the future holds, but I feel much better now than I did then.Â Much better.
18.Â I can listen to my man Dave Ramsey and smile knowingly when callers scream “We’re Debt Free!”.
19.Â 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.Â I am amazed by some of the debt reduction stories that I have read over the past four years.
20.Â I can write this post.Â When I started No Credit Needed, I had one goal.Â I wanted to be debt free.Â It took 10 months, but I managed to pay off my last debt in February of 2006.Â Since then, I’ve done my best to be honest, open, and forthright about my struggle and my successes.Â 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?