Several years ago Danielle and I committed to get completely out of debt. We followed simple principles taught by teachers such as Dave Ramsey. If you want to know how to get out of debt, I recommend starting with Dave’s material.
However, like with anything worth doing, it helps, no, it is necessary to have motivation to do it. It also helps if the motivation is something that you get excited about. That will keep you on task. Otherwise, the goal or dream will remain just that—a dream.
Here are a few reasons that motivated me to get out and stay out of debt.
1. Reduces cost of living.
We are so used to paying interest that we have no idea how much less cost of living is without it. Nearly everyone pays interest on big-ticket items like furniture, appliances, cars, and homes.
What is crazy is how many of us also pay interest on eating out, entertainment, toys, and clothing by not paying off our credit cards.
Tell me, how great was that sale if you have to pay 10-20% interest for a few months on the item?
We grow numb to how much we are spending on interest. Therefore we have no idea how much less our cost of living could be.
2. Provides security.
Do you lie awake at night wondering how you are going to pay all your bills? Do you look outside in the morning to see if your vehicle is still in the drive way? Have you ever moved a house payment to the end of the note so you could have a little “cash flow” to pay other bills?
I have done all those things!
When you are debt-free—no credit cards bills with interest, no car payments, no house payment—these concerns go away.
I remember thinking when we made our last house payment that I would always have a place to live as long as I paid my real estate taxes.
What a nice sense of security.
3. Creates wealth.
When you no longer have payments on things you bought on time, and you begin earning interest and not paying it, the money begins to accumulate.
That is if you change your spending habits and live within your means instead of beyond them.
Interest begins to work for you instead of against you. A snow-ball effect happens. At first, it speeds up getting out of debt. Then it creates momentum in creating wealth.
I am not saying you will get rich simply by being debt-free. However, living below your means will cause cash to accumulate.
Then it is a good time to look into investing. You can use funds that are not necessary for your everyday lifestyle.
Less stress. Wiser decisions. That is a common result.
4. Help others in need.
“If I had more money, I would give more away to help those in need.” How many times have you had that thought?
Most people want to help others. However, most don’t choose to live debt-free on purpose so that they can help other people.
Ouch! Did I really say that?
5. Go when we see an opportunity to serve.
Did you want to go and help the last time you watched on the news the after-math of a natural disaster? Why did you not go?
A debt-free lifestyle not only frees up our money to give to those in need, but it also frees up our time. Then we can go when we have an opportunity to serve.
These last two reasons are missional in nature. If you are wanting to live a missional lifestyle, make living debt-free a high priority. I know it will amaze you how different your life will be.
Let’s summarize — if you put together a plan to get out of debt while living each day within your means, one day soon you can have interest work for you, live more securely, begin to create wealth, and have cash and time to help others in need.
Now that is a way to live a missional lifestyle!
Question – What are some reasons that motivate you to live debt-free? Please let me know in the comments.