Debt free living…is that a thing? Yes. Yes, it is. Anyone can be debt free, there are no secrets about how to do it. Let’s unpack this in “11 Keys to Debt Free Living”.
Make a Budget
The first step to living a debt free life is to create a budget. A budget is a plan that outlines your income and expenses.
By tracking your spending, you can see where your money is going and make adjustments to ensure that you are not spending more than you can afford. Mint is a free app that can help you with this.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
From the moment we’re born, it seems, we begin to compare ourselves and what we own to others in our lives.
Maybe you were born with brown hair, but you wish you had your sister’s blonde hair. Then, you decide that her toys are better than yours, and on it goes.
Resisting the temptation to compare yourself to others is paramount to debt free living.
Once you get to the point where you are truly comfortable with yourself, who you are and what you own, then and only then will you be able to live a debt free life.
Live Within Your Means
Actually, I would recommend that you live below your means.
This is spending less than you earn and only borrowing money when absolutely necessary. If you are able to live within your means, you will be less likely to accumulate debt.
Invest in Yourself
Another key to living a debt free life is to invest in yourself.
This includes things like getting an education or training, which can help you earn more money.
Resist the temptation of bad habits that not only cost you money, but can diminish your health.
Take care of yourself! Disease and illness is expensive and can eat up your savings very quickly! It’s much easier to pay attention to your health when you’re in good shape.
Have an Emergency Fund
Another key to living a debt-free life is to have an emergency fund.
An emergency fund is a savings account that is used for unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repairs.
Having an emergency fund can help you avoid accumulating debt when unexpected expenses arise, and they will.
It took us over a year to save up just one extra month’s bills, because unexpected car repairs kept us from it. But we were persistent and finally accomplished it. Don’t give up!
Avoid Lifestyle Inflation
Lifestyle inflation occurs when your spending increases as your income increases. You get a raise at work and immediately find ways to spend it.
This can lead to accumulating debt and difficulty living within your means. To avoid lifestyle inflation, it is important to keep your spending in check even as your income grows. Use any extra monies you earn to pay down debt and/or save for the future.
Make Extra Payments on Your Debt
If you already have debt, one of the best ways to become debt-free is to make extra payments on your debts each month. By making extra payments, you can pay off your debts faster and save money on interest charges!
“Frugal Nuts” despise debt so much that they’ll search for loose change in the couch and under car seats in order to pay down debt faster. Be weird, hate debt.
Setting goals will keep you motivated to keep pushing and sticking to your plan!
What’s important to you? What are you trying to accomplish financially? Put something on the refrigerator and/or bathroom mirror to remind you why you’re not stopping for coffee today or going out to lunch.
Stay Disciplined with Your Spending
Discipline to do anything comes from our mindset.
Condition your mind to want a debt free life, more than anything. Motivate yourself with post-it notes around the house or in your car. Continue to surround yourself with people who share and support your goals!
Find Like-Minded People
There’s nothing like the support of another to keep us focused and excited about our goals.
This is why it’s so important to find other frugal folks, who share your values and can lift you up when you need it.
The last folks you need to hang out with are the ones with payments on everything they own and nothing in the bank.
You don’t need all that this world offers to be happy in life.
Actually, in this “frugal nuts” opinion, I think less stuff makes for a more satisfying life. Focus on what’s important, not stuff.
You’ll be happy and debt free at the same time.