Some people assume that debt-free living is a pipe-dream.
And yet, thousands of Americans are making this dream a reality.
Here’s the thing, debt-free living isn’t about winning the lottery or landing a rich inheritance.
More than anything, this lifestyle revolves around your mindsets and actions.
Is it tough? Sometimes.
Is it worth it? More than likely, yes! After all, when was the last time you paid cash for a 20K vehicle? Debt-free living paints a beautiful picture.
Plenty of people live paycheck to paycheck. And, plenty of people face the mental anguish that comes with it.
Plain and simple, it stinks!
That said, you can change your financial future.
Here’s what you need for debt-free living.
A debt-free life isn’t a scattershot sort of endeavor.
To ensure a lifestyle that doesn’t include dragging around loads of financial baggage, you must have a specific aim.
In short, you need financial goals.
Setting financial goals can seem intimidating, at first.
And yet, goal-setting mostly requires you to examine three simple items, which include:
- Money coming in
- Money going out
- What you truly want
Granted, taking an honest look at your financial information might not be your idea of fun.
But, this is where the future can motivate you—think about what life you’d like to create for yourself.
Furthermore, after coming to terms with your income and financial obligations, you know exactly where you stand money-wise.
Also, you can identify the steps you need to take to land your dream lifestyle. Ambition for the win!
2. Debt-free living with Confidence
Let’s face it; many people could use a hefty dose of self-confidence.
Besides, it’s a vital trait of debt-free living people.
But, life has a way of throwing one-two punches and kicking you while you’re down.
With your face in the dirt, debt-free living can seem light-years away…or even utterly impossible.
Plus, when you’re down on your luck, you’re usually down on yourself, too.
These negative emotions can quickly impact your spending habits.
Impulse purchases serve as a sort of Bandaid for emotional discomfort, for example, and debt feels like a stray cat you can’t stop feeding.
It’s a nasty circle that can quickly spiral your budget out of control.
To counteract the confidence-killing monster that is debt, keep your focus fixed on one thing—your life.
When you’re zoned in on your small wins, you cling to the goal of debt-free living much more ferociously.
Not only does this approach bolster your confidence, but it also catapults you toward a better financial future.
3. Gratitude helps in debt-free living
An attitude of gratitude is probably an emotion your parents or grandparents tried to force on you.
Does the phrase, “say thank you!” sound familiar?
Of course, your family was right—using your manners isn’t a bad thing, in the least.
Gratitude isn’t something that you can pretend.
You can say all the right words, but unless you choose to be grateful, this emotion won’t do you any good.
When you’re facing truckloads of debt, however, being grateful just doesn’t come naturally.
I get it!
Being grateful can keep your eyes on the prize: debt-free living.
Plus, this emotion encourages your core values to drive rather than impulses.
So, you can more easily pass over the fabulous shoe sale or fantastic new cell phone deal.
Here are a few hacks to help you practice gratitude:
- Balance a negative thought with a positive one.
- Choose a day where you don’t complain at all.
- Compliment other people.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Celebrate when you learn something new.
- Approach challenges with positivity (or like a game).
- Be kind and forgive yourself.
- Make a gratitude collage.
It’s amazing how gratitude can impact your life.
From your relationships to your career to your financial situation, this emotion can improve your overall experience.
Give it a try!
4. Self-Control promotes debt-free living
As mentioned, gratitude and confidence can both help you stick to your budget.
Another solid game plan is to set boundaries for yourself.
Understandable, self-control can feel limiting and even dull sometimes.
Tightening up your spending habits is a surefire way to reach your aspiration of debt-free living.
Even when you feel as though you have no self-control, there are tricks to help you save versus spend.
Automate your savings strategy, so you’re not continually scolding yourself about your financial situation.
For example, enroll in your company’s 401(K) or automatically deduct a portion of your paycheck for savings.
Or, install an app that does it all for you.
These amounts don’t have to be huge. Keep in mind, though, the money adds up fast!
Before you know it, your emergency fund will have 3-6 month’s worth of income in it. You can breathe easy with that kind of financial safety net.
One trick is to automatically deposit into a savings account that isn’t easily accessible.
The extra layers of protection (from you!) will dissuade from using that money.
5. Protective Instincts– fight to keep your debt-free life
Lastly, debt-free living calls for practical application as well as conventional wisdom.
What this means is that you have to work diligently to reach your goals, and you have to protect every inch of ground that you conquer, too.
Imagine if your family lost you unexpectedly.
Your financial obligations won’t merely disappear.
Your dream of debt-free living would undoubtedly NOT be passed on to your family.
They may even be responsible for some of your outstanding balances.
It’s essential to get the protection you need.
One of the most affordable ways to protect you and your family is to purchase term life insurance.
Strangely enough, most people overestimate the cost of term life insurance.
It’s surprisingly inexpensive!
Take the Next Step
Changing your financial future to embrace debt-free living can be challenging.
But we can help!
To support you as you safeguard your financial security, I’ve created an up-to-date guide for parents who need life insurance.
My guide can help you with your long term life insurance goals, especially with little kids at home!
Here at CB Acker Associates, we want to help you take care of your family.
If you’re ready to find a policy that fits your needs and your budget, we can help!
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