It has been over 2 months that we paid off our last consumer debt and I am still in disbelief that we have no other debt other than our mortgage. I have had debt in one form or another since I was 18 years old. It started with a credit card (to get the “free” t-shirt), a car loan, and my first mortgage at the age of 22! I was thinking the other day about why I love being debt free, and it looks a little something like this (in no particular order):
- Security in knowing that if anything were to happen, we have nothing compromising our income.
- There is more money than month (for the first time in our married life!)
- We now discuss (and plan) purchases before making them: no more impulse buys.
- No more credit card statements clogging up our mailbox.
- Monthly bills are much easier to keep track of when you have only 4 of them (vs. 12!)
- There is no way possible to miss making a credit card payment and in-turn get a higher interest rate and penalty.
- We are saving nearly $100/month in interest by not having debt payments.
- We watch our net worth grow!
- We can freely donate to charities and organizations we believe in.
- There is disposable income to do frivolous things once in a while.
For those who are looking to get debt-free, this would be my advice:
- Decide that enough is enough!
- Check out Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book from the library
- Listen to the Dave Ramsey Show podcast: it is very motivational
- Get started!
This is not a “get rid of debt in 6 months” scheme. It takes time, patience, hard work and sacrifice. It took us a year and a half to get out of debt. Within that time, we made some stupid decisions (like putting french doors on a 0% financing program with Home Depot) but it all worked out. We hit a few bumps in the road, and I can guarantee that you will too, but you get past them and move on. The relief that debt freedom brings every day is well worth the hard work and sacrifice.
As Dave Ramsey says, “Live like no one else so that later, you can live like no one else.”