Paying off debt can be hard.
Trust me, I know.
I found myself in debt when I graduated college.
Then I added to it when I couldn’t find a job and bought things to make me feel better.
At the height of my debt, I was in the hole over $10,000.
I tried and failed a number of times to pay off my debt.
But it wasn’t until I got real with myself and got to the root of the issue that I was able to beat debt once and for all.
Sadly, being in debt is a way of life for most people.
We just accept it as part of trying to survive financially.
But the truth is you don’t have to live with debt.
There is an entire other way of living out there, one without debt.
And while work is involved to get there, trust me when I tell you that living a debt free life is priceless and worth the effort.
And this post is proof.
I am sharing with you 9 benefits of being debt free.
Once you see these benefits, you are going to want to get to work on paying off your debt.
And the good news is I walk you through how to do that as well!
Let’s get started with changing your financial future!
9 Reasons To Imagine A Debt Free Lifestyle
If you have debt or have had debt in the past, you know how it controls your life.
Stress, embarrassment, uncertainty.
Debt causes all these feelings. It’s not fun being in debt.
Instead of worrying about how you will get out of debt, let’s focus on the benefits of being debt free.
#1. Improved Health
When you are in debt, you experience a lot of stress.
How are you going to make ends meet? What if you lose your job? What household repairs and upkeep?
It’s a proven fact that stress does shorten your life. As a result, the less stress you have, the healthier you will be.
By paying off your debt, you immediately remove a huge amount of stress from your life.
No more worrying about the bills coming in the mail.
No more sleepless nights trying to figure out how you will make ends meet.
All this leads to a longer, happier, healthier life.
#2. Better Outlook
When you have the weight of debt hovering over you, you see the bad all around you.
Your mind is filled with negative thoughts and you see your life as a wreck.
When you start debt free living, your outlook changes and you have a positive outlook on life.
You start seeing things in a positive mindset. You see great things for your life and you’re more apt to push through things.
#3. More Confidence
When in debt, you doubt your abilities.
You wonder how you will cover the bills each month or how you will ever afford Christmas presents.
Simply put, you lack confidence in yourself and your abilities.
The good news is that your confidence grows as you overcome obstacles.
Paying off your debt is a huge obstacle to overcome and when you do, you will be prouder and more confident because of it.
You will walk around with a new sense of pride.
You will believe in yourself and your abilities, constantly increasing your confidence.
#4. Personal Growth
As your confidence rises, you doubt yourself less and less.
When a new challenge comes along, you won’t think that you can’t overcome it.
You will know that you can. You will be growing as a person, bettering yourself all the time.
I know for me, when I overcome a big challenge, I feel like I am Superman and can take on anything the world throws at me.
I accept challenges that I otherwise might shy away from.
This makes me a better, stronger person than I was before.
#5. More Success
Another benefit of paying off your debt is more success.
As you begin to pay off debt, you achieve success.
This leads to your confidence growing and you growing as a person.
You will then be motivated to try more things and experience more and more success.
The more successful and financially secure you become, the more the cycle repeats itself, and that’s a great cycle to be in.
At some point in this repeating cycle though, you are going to fail.
Will everything come crashing down? Hardly.
With your new found confidence, a setback won’t matter to you.
You will see it for what it is, a bump in the road, and you will push through it.
#6. Financial Advantages Of Being Debt Free
Up until now, the benefits of being debt free have been more emotional, but there are some great financial advantages to being debt free.
The first is a simpler financial life.
Think about your life now as you live in debt.
You worry about what bills to pay first or when you are getting paid next.
You even spend time wondering about choosing to save for a vacation or putting the money towards your debt.
All this worrying takes up a lot of your time and energy.
Now imagine life without debt.
These questions and worries are gone.
Your biggest concern now is whether to save your money in a savings account or invest it in the stock market.
#7. Reduced Cost of Living
When in debt, you have to earn a lot more money each month to pay for your needs and still make your debt payments.
But debt free living means you can earn less money and still be able to live happily and save money.
This can lead to more happiness.
You might hate your job but be stuck in it because you need the income to cover your needs and debt payments.
If you don’t have debt, you might be able to change careers and do something that excites you and pays you less.
#8. More Choices
Life without debt allows you to have more choices in everything you do.
By having money saved, you afford to experience more life has to offer.
You can take advantage of opportunities too.
When opportunity knocks, you can take advantage of the offer.
This is because your money isn’t tied to paying off debt.
#9. Ability To Achieve Financial Independence
When you live debt free, you increase the chances of being able to afford retirement.
With fewer living expenses, you need to save less to cover you during your retirement years.
If you are buried in debt, you might not have been able to save enough to retire, but without debt, you now have hope.
Debt Free Living Tips | How To Live Debt Free
You now see the many benefits of a debt free lifestyle and want to take action.
But here do you start?
Here is your guide to living debt free.
#1. Manage Your Spending
The first step is getting your spending under control.
This all starts with a budget.
Look at a budget as a tool to help you become free of your debt, not as depriving you of spending.
There are many options for you when it comes to budgeting.
You could use spreadsheets or apps to automate the process for you.
The choice is what works best for you.
- Read now: Click here for 15 free budget templates
- Read now: Click here to learn why so many people love budgeting with Tiller Money
As you create your budget, you may need to cut out some spending so you can put the most money toward your debt.
This could be cutting some spending or even increasing your income.
You can learn many ways to do this in the build wealth section of my site.
Once your budget is all set up, you can move on to creating a plan to pay down your debt.
#2. Create A Debt Payoff Plan
The second step is creating a debt payoff plan.
This is where most people run into trouble.
They either try to get out of debt overnight, fail miserably and give up or they put together a plan that isn’t thought out.
Here is how to avoid these two issues.
First, understand you didn’t get into debt overnight.
So chances are you aren’t going to get out overnight either.
It will take you time to pay off your debt. But this doesn’t mean it is impossible.
Second, you need to create a plan that motivates you.
For most of you, this means using the debt snowball.
In a nutshell, you organize your debts and pay off your smallest balance first.
This motivates you as you see progress.
And then your motivation increases more as you pay off more and more of your debt.
#3. Commit To A Debt Free Lifestyle
The third and final step is all about commitment.
As I just mentioned, it will take time to get out of debt.
The journey is long and you will want to quit.
Because of this, you need to enlist the help of a friend.
Tell them about your goals and encourage them to check up on you.
Additionally, create milestones for you to celebrate when you reach your goals.
For example, once you pay off $2,500 worth of debt, treat yourself to a nice dinner.
Doing this will help to keep your spirits high.
You can do this over and over again as you continue to pay off debt as well.
Next, as you pay off your debt, I encourage you to keep a journal or notes on phone.
The idea here is to be aware of the journey.
Make a note of all the stuff you bought and never used and are still paying for.
Write down how you feel about your debt. How it annoys you that you are working so hard to pay someone else instead of yourself.
These notes will serve as a good reminder in the futures so you can stay living debt free.
Finally, check out my Debt All Stars.
These people who were in debt just like you and now live debt free. They did it and so can you.
Disadvantages Of Being Debt Free
I’ve talked about all the many ways your life and finances will be improved by paying off your debt.
But are there any disadvantages of being debt free?
Here is a list of the negatives of being debt free.
#1. Possible Harm To Your Credit Score
If you get out of debt and never take on more debt or use your credit cards, you run the risk of lowering your credit score.
But the impact should be minimal to most people.
If you are really concerned about this, simply make it a point to use your credit card a few times a year.
Just use it to pay for groceries, then put the card back and pay off the balance in full.
#2. Missing Out And Not Keeping Up
This really isn’t a major negative of being debt free, but I wanted to point it out.
Once you are free from debt, you will notice that people around you tend to have all the latest gadgets and newest cars, etc.
You won’t of course because you refuse to go into debt just to have the latest things.
Therefore, you may feel like you are missing out and are not keeping up with others.
But while you are falling behind in the materialistic sense, you are miles ahead in the financial sense.
See, once you pay off your debt and start building your savings, you will have more options in life.
This includes retiring with more money than you thought you would have.
While everyone else can’t retire because they have mountains of debt, you can.
#3. Miss Out On Building Wealth
The last drawback again isn’t a big one.
When you are paying off your debt, you could make smarter financial moves with your money.
What I mean by this is if your debt charges you 3% interest and you can earn 8% investing in the stock market, it makes financial sense to invest and not pay off the debt.
But most people are better off just paying off their debt.
This is because many won’t consistently invest that money to earn the 8% return.
The benefits of living a debt free life are immeasurable.
If you accept the challenge to get your financial life in control, the world is yours.
The increased confidence and personal growth will take you places you never imagined.
Who doesn’t want to experience the best of life?
Accept the challenge of life without debt and start enjoying a life of debt free living.
Don’t be like the 20% of people who believe they will never be able to live debt free.
You can do it.
You just need to take action and stay positive and remain focused.