So, you made it — you have a life without debt. That means that the world suddenly got more interesting really quickly. Instead of worrying that you aren’t going to have options, you really do have all of the options you can think of. If you want to go back to school…you can do that. If you want to aim for a career change — you can do that too. The world is really going to open up to you. It’s a good thing, really, considering that debt elimination is a pretty stressful thing. No one sets out to get stressed out about getting out of debt, but that’s often what happens. You want to make sure that you have all of your bases covered.
The road to debt freedom is a challenging one. Few guides talk about what you should honestly do once you’ve hit this point. Do you make something of your life, or do you constantly save without having any idea of what to really do with all of it?
You need to start looking at new goals. Since you have no debt, you what to make sure that you keep it that way. If you have problems maintaining modest credit card balances, you don’t want to go back to that again. You might need to put credit goals on hold until you change your mindset. Credit is just a tool — it’s what we do with it that really makes all of the difference in the world. Thinking that you have what it takes to rise high out of the debt game is one thing, but putting it into practice is another. Anyone can be moderate for a short time — you’re going to have to be consistent.
You may even need to put friends in check. They are seeing you with old eyes — you need to make sure that they understand that you’ve changed. You can’t spend money like crazy anymore. You can’t just go hit up all of the high street stores when you feel bored. You must inform them that they have to be supportive of you. And of course if they aren’t willing to be supportive then they just don’t need to be around you.
You might find yourself teaching new financial lessons to your children. Remember that they model everything that you do. So if you set good financial habits now, they will model that. Giving them the best foundation for financial success is a good thing. We don’t have nearly enough educational time set aside to talk about money. Money is a very powerful thing, but it must be used with caution and care.
Design a new future.
Feel better about yourself.
Reach out to other people still struggling with debt.
Teach your children about the benefits of a debt free lifestyle.
And finally, make sure that you stay within your new limits. You might feel tempted to splurge “just once”, but will it really stay as a “just once” thing? You need to ensure that you’re always thinking about your own options from start to finish. Good luck and may you enjoy your debt free life for a long time!