Live On Less Than You Make
In a world of “Joneses” it can be hard to live within your means. Debt free people have mastered self-discipline in their belongings. By living within their means debt free people can manage their money to work for them, not be fighting against it. When we are satisfied with what we have we are content enough to not need to go buy things we don’t need, resulting in saving our money.
Have a Budget that Aligns with Your Life Goals
The wealthiest people have a budget. Having a budget is kind of like going to the gym. Fit people use the gym, wealthy debt-free people use a budget.
Always knowing how much you have and where it is going is key to helping you be able to put large sums toward your current debt, staying out of debt, and making your money work for you with investments.
Always Use Cash
One of the easiest ways to help you keep your money is by using cash. Another thing debt-free people do. Cash has emotion attached to it. It’s tangible and it’s yours. Opening up your wallet to hand over a $100 dollar bill is a lot more emotional than whipping out your sparkly blue credit card. By using cash debt free people know exactly how much they are spending because when its gone its gone!
Be Responsible for Your Actions
Being responsible for your own actions can result in a debt-free life. You’ve worked hard to get the income you’ve earned so it only makes sense to spend it wisely. By knowing your priorities, sticking to your budget, and giving a place for every single dollar, it can help you make sure never over spend, or allow yourself to purchase things you don’t need or really want.
Pay Yourself First
Another tip that’s very common to debt-free people is saving money FIRST. A common theme in rich peoples advise to getting rich in your lifetime is to pay yourself first. By taking the cream off the top of the bucket so to speak, you are securing money for yourself before it goes to all the things that need your money. This habit will result in a constant piling on effect of savings that end in a large sum.
Pay Attention to Detail
Debt-free people don’t just let their money fly out the window. They pay attention to the details. They check bills and recites to make sure they are accurate. They know what is automatically coming out of their accounts such as magazine subscriptions or recurring bills. By paying attention to the details of your spending habits you avoid losing track of your paycheck before its gone.
Debt-free people have patience; they’ve learned to grow in self-control. They practice this in the art of delayed material gratification. They never make the same mistake twice by getting into debt again because of the latest and greatest, or because they need a big-ticket item out of the blue. They save and budget for future purchases that may come up. They never try to keep up or impress anyone else by having the newest trends. Unlike an impulse buyer, they are willing to have patience and save before making a purchase.
Plan for Long-Term Goals
One of the keys to any challenging aspect of life is to plan for the future. This is one of the biggest things that debt-free people do. They aren’t debt-free by accident. They may have had debt by accident, but they certainly didn’t get rid of it without a plan. Challenge yourself to set a goal that scares you. Set a goal that seems impossible. Give yourself a time frame and work toward that challenge every day. You will be surprised how much you accomplish in that allotted time.
Have an Emergency Fund
Ah Murphy! He comes knocking when the rains of misfortune are pouring the hardest. Ever notice? When the car has an odd ticking sound the washing machine breaks. When you suddenly need a new computer, you get super sick. It’s all the law of Murphy and no one is immune. However as Dave Ramsey puts it, the bigger your emergency fund the more distance you put between you and good ol’ Murph! Having a nice plump emergency fund….NOT SAVINGS……EMERGENCY fund set aside exclusively for emergency situations will greatly help you in staying out of debt. (P.S. Christmas is not an emergency!)
I sincerely hope that these tips that the debt-free people practice every day, will help inspire you on your debt-free journey. I know that some days it can feel far away. Keep at it, every little drop fills a bucket!