Kill Your Debt Love Your Life

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Debt isn’t just depressing – it’s boring too. Slaving away at two retail jobs and cutting coupons from the newspaper isn’t exactly thrilling stuff, after all, and when you’re in debt, “disposable income” takes on a completely different meaning. Oh, it’s being disposed of, all right. The truth is that unless you plan to live off the grid, paying down your debt is going to involve a lot of hard work and not a lot of fun. Live, then, for the future. Trick your mind into seeing the eventual benefits of your debt-free life. There’s something on the other side of that hill, Sisyphus. Here’s what you can look forward to beyond the crest:

Shop for Joy. When debt is a distant memory, you’ll leave your 50-pound Trapper Keeper full of grocery coupon clippings at home. You’ll buy big steaks, purchase Easter candy before the post-holiday markdown and splurge on a chunk of French cheese you can’t even pronounce. And you’ll do it all at the fancy grocery store instead of your usual haunt, the food dump with the flickering lights and the shuffling creepers. Most importantly, when you don’t have to scrimp and save your every penny, the opportunity cost of deodorant will never again factor into your dinner math.

Get The Best Rewards. When you don’t have any money, your bank tries to take every cent you do have. (Overdraft fees, anyone?) But when you’re debt-free and finally able to save some money, every bank out there seems to want to give you more. Better credit means better credit offers and better rewards. Scoring the best airlines credit cards could even translate to a tropical escape. Back when you were slaving to pay off your debt, the beach was a mere fantasy.

 

Follow Your Dreams. When you’re working double shifts at a diner just to pay off your debt, you don’t exactly have the time or energy to chase your dreams. But when that debt disappears, you no longer have to work 60 hours a week just to break even. With more free time and more wiggle room in your budget, you’ll finally be able to do the things you’ve always dreamed of doing – like starting your own reggae band or writing the Great American Novel.

 

Be Absurd. Did you recently meet the man of your dreams online? Even though it’s just your second date, you can now afford to fly off to Vegas and get married (just to see what that’s like). Freedom from debt allows for these little experiments, so go nuts and be absurd, because – at last – you can. Buy Madonna tickets for your entire family. Charter a hot-air balloon and float high above your town, sipping sherry. Or just spring for that one pair of Louboutins you’ve always dreamed of.

 

Paying off your debt won’t make all of your problems disappear. It won’t stop your significant other’s ex from stalking you on Facebook. It won’t save you from ever hearing a Nickelback song again. It won’t protect you from creepy close-talkers on the bus. Hey, some things are just unavoidable. But when you finally push that debt boulder over the edge, the glorious vista you’ll behold will make it easier to take all that other annoying stuff in stride.

 

Alayna Frankenberry is a writer and blogger who believes learning about credit cards doesn’t have to be snoozefest. She writes for Credit Card Assist and a variety of other sites across the Internet.

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12 comments to Kill Your Debt Love Your Life

  • Having no debt provides choices and opportunities! Vacations and investing to name a couple. It means freedom!
    Krantcents recently posted..A Different Investment Strategy

  • I think there’s a lot of motivational value in spending just 30 focused minutes a week visualizing and talking about the real, day-to-day differences being debt-free would have on one’s freedom, psyche, and ability to jump on opportunity. People who have been in deep debt for a while forget what it’s like not to have that ball & chain. Thinking about it can ease the sacrifices necessary to get where we all want to be: Debt free!
    Kurt @ Money Counselor recently posted..Fake Debt Collectors

    • Very true Kurt. It has to be a continuous goal that you’re constantly talking about. It makes it much easier to stay on task for your future success!

    • David

      My wife and I just recently (last week) paid off all of our credit card debt to the tune of $19,000, all in one fell swoop. It felt amazing but I dont think its fully hit us yet but over the next few months, and having all of that money dumping into the savings account, I think we will come to realize what a huge hurdle we just got over. In my “spending” defense this debt wasnt from frivolous spending, it was a new well pump, new water heater, etc for the house. All big ticket items that hammered us over the last couple of years.

      Anyway, we are looking forward to maximizing retirement savings and not worrying at all about credit card debt.

      • Awesome job David! I know that feeling and it is awesome! You’ll definitely notice your extra cash soon and then it will start to hit you that you no longer have that debt.

  • I am strong believer that Hope and Fear are strong motivators. Looking beyond debt does provide good hope, hope a life free from the burden of debt and free to explore beyond the financial bondages

  • Get out of debt so you can make other irresponsible decisions! 🙂
    Frugal Portland recently posted..Dear Future Self, Part One

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