Why Living Debt-Free Creates a More Joyous Life

Why Living Debt-Free Creates a More Joyous Life

I know so many people who portray themselves as happy on Facebook, that I can see are not very happy at all.  People are keeping up with the Joneses, piling up credit card debt, feeling the pressure of impending college tuition, wondering how in the world did I get in this much debt and how am I going to get out of this? They work jobs they abhor and live lives that are severely disorganized.

101My challenge has always been to push people to challenge themselves, to break the cycle of a life that is designing them vs them designing their life. And as I type this I realize some might read and say most people’s lives aren’t that bad; and my response is you have not been paying attention.  It might be the case that not all families encapsulate my description above, but many families deal with a few.  I believe we have been conditioned to accept debt as a reality, when in fact it is a defeatist mentality.

We must realize that our life is our responsibility and it is possible for us to make positive changes.

I have talked often in the past about debt and I have wondered myself why so many of my thoughts regarding living out dreams come back to debt.  And I guess the answer is that in conversations with people I have heard the money excuse used all too often. And when I hear the money excuse used I immediately wonder how much cash they waste each month or how they use their money.

I personally have two resources that I guard as sacred: my time and my money.  The money situation is very sensitive for lots of individuals because they feel a sense of embarrassment when light is shined on their inability to manage their personal life. If you speak to someone who works in the financial business they will tell you how defensive people get when their debt is criticized (and by criticize I mean it in the truest definition of the word, not pointing out flaws or making fun of).

I believe it is important for you to understand one fact: your debt could be getting in the way of you living a fulfilled life!  We live in a society that tells us we must live in a certain type of house, drive a certain type of car,  send our kids to a top school, we must work a certain type of job, we must associate with a certain type of people. And if you do not you are not successful. And you must obtain these things at any cost. So get yourself some credit cards, acquire a line of credit and go buy things so that people think you are successful and these things will make you happy and fulfilled.

And in the end what you have attained is a life that is fake, that you don’t own because you owe others for it, and a mountain of debt that you carry around like a 300 pound gorilla each and every day. Your debt restricts your ability to move out of a job that makes you unhappy, it restricts your ability to move out of a city or town that you do not like, it restricts your ability to see the world around you and it sets an image of the type of life your children expect to have for themselves.

For your information, Warren Buffett still lives in a house in Nebraska that he bought 50 years ago and drives an old Buick,  both of which he paid off many years ago.

121908-600x349Do not wait for tomorrow, do it today!  And contrary to what some might say Starbucks is not necessary. Car payments are not necessary. Shopping at the most expensive grocery stores is not necessary. Eating out is not necessary. Gym memberships are not necessary.  Boats & motorcycles are not necessary. Cable television is not necessary. And these are just a few of the things I see people spending money on that they can neither afford nor sustain.

Your attitude towards buying things should always be: if you do not have the cash to buy, do not buy it.  I will guarantee you if you eliminate all unnecessary spending each month you will have approximately $500 to pay on debt. My advice would be to pay down the smallest credit card first and gain some positive forward momentum. Then choose the second debt item and take the $500 plus whatever you were paying on the first credit card and pay that on the second credit card.  You duplicate this formula as many times as it takes to get you out of debt and if you commit three to five years to this you will be 100% debt free.  There are many methods or plans that one can use so be sure to educate yourself as to the best method for your situation.

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Many of the happiest people I know have extremely low debt. And by extremely low debt I mean they have an affordable mortgage, no car payment, and zero credit card debt.

Successful people do not stumble upon being successful. Their lives are purposely designed to give themselves the best opportunity possible to find success. And it is time for you to take control of your life and design it to give yourself the best opportunity possible to be successful.  The first step is acknowledging that your life is your responsibility.

 

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65 thoughts on “Why Living Debt-Free Creates a More Joyous Life

    1. Nena, thank you for reading and leaving your thoughts. I have worked with people in the past that only knew the amount of their paycheck, but had no idea what they spent on gas or coffee or groceries. I think: How do you function??!!

  1. Thanks for the post, Danny! We have gradually moved to this model of no debt in recent years. We still carry a school loan and a low personal loan but otherwise debt free. Yes, we have had to pass on many, many of the enticing contraptions out there that want us to feel “less than” if we don’t purchase. But like you said, getting debt free brings a remarkable sense of freedom many people are not aware of.

    1. I am glad you left your comment and your example. I wish more people could break from the conditioning that debt is “normal.” The corporations have advertised us into a mindset that we cannot have the life we want without debt. Debt = shackles.

  2. An excellent post Danny and so true. We can make our lives so much less complicated if we just reduce what we have. We don’t need half the stuff we amass, so why carry the debt.

    1. People don’t realize your point. Each time Evelina and I have moved we have taken a truck load of stuff to Goodwill or had a yard sale. Most people dispose of material things well before they pay off the credit card debt that purchased said item! lol

  3. Absolutely agree with you. I won’t have a credit card, and will happily do without most things to avoid debt and credit. As you say, ‘need’ and ‘want’ are two totally different animals.

  4. I am100% debt free for the first time since I can actually remember. On stumbling on to this blog I felt I just had to comment in complete validation of its wise words. For whatever reason a person is in debt, I sympathise and wish you strength.

    1. I believe it is because corporations (advertising) and societal conditioning instills in us at a young age that we must use credit to get what we want. The problem is we don’t realize soon enough that “what we want” is not stuff but people and fulfillment.
      Danny

    1. Good for you!! Living simply is the part most people have issue. What they don’t realize is that the “stuff” they want will end up creating their own shackles.
      Danny

  5. I completely agree with your post. We spend too much nowadays to keep up with others…if only people would talk about their debts more openly… As soon as I started, I’ve found out that a lot of my friends are buried in it but you wouldn’t be able to tell from their Facebook pages that this is the case

  6. Excellent article. My wife and I got into debt back during the great recession when we both had trouble getting jobs, and have been trying to pay it off for years. After living minimally for years and especially after having 2 kids, we were stretched so thin that I was going hungry some days while letting everyone else eat. That’s when I said enough with this, banks make multi-millions in profits and I’m here working full-time and going hungry. I stopped paying my credit cards, waited 4 months, then negotiated for less than half the balance owed, and they’re done with now.

      1. I agree! In a credit-based economy, there is always more debt than there is money to pay it because money is created by issuing debt, hence artificial scarcity, competition, and the endless need for growth to pay back debt.

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