So what is life like after debt? I’d like to tell you that life after debt is amazing and that it’s everything I dreamed it would be, but I don’t think I can honestly say that yet. At this point, I feel like I have escaped a world of normalcy and have somehow managed to step into a world that few even knew existed. As a result, my feelings have not yet been affirmed by others and I think I’ll have to wait a bit longer to explore this new land on my own.
A few days after I made the final payment on my house, I started searching for advice on what I should do next. What would be the next wise decision for life after debt? To my surprise, I could find very little on the topic! The first four results in Google had some relevancy, but beyond that most of the articles only spoke of getting out of consumer debt and said nothing about becoming completely debt free! It is as if nobody ever pays off their house and asks what the next steps should be!
And then it hit me…
Nobody strives to pay their house off early like I did. Far too often, homeowners fall prey to the lies of others that fail to pay off all their debts. Somehow they start believing that it’s smart to have mortgage debt because the interest rate is cheap and they can earn more by investing their money in the stock market (which most of them never actually do by the way). Or, they believe that their home is a sophisticated debt because they are getting a tax deduction on the interest payments (which means you pay in $10,000 to the bank to save $2,500 in taxes…pretty stupid). Basically, nobody wants to go through the trouble of paying down their debt because they want to spend their money on cooler stuff like cars, boats, and vacations. For these reasons they lie to themselves, hold onto their debts, and live meager lives of quiet desperation. Very few people are paying their house off early.
My Help Is Limited
The fact that basically no one pays off their house mortgage early means that my help is becoming very limited. I can’t just run a quick search and expect to get all of the answers I need anymore because most publications cater to the needs of the majority. Since the majority are not paying off their homes early and look to start investing outside of their 401k’s, there is little to be found on the subject. But, this will not slow me down.
Life After Debt – What Is Coming?
I am still convinced that life after debt is going to be amazing.
My next paycheck will be the first that is earmarked for nothing. I have nearly $1,800 coming in that will just camp in my checking account, unmoved. Two weeks later this account will have another $1,600 added, increasing the overall account total to over $6,000. That’s just crazy how fast that growth can happen! With very few expenses and absolutely no debt, my account will rise by $3,000 or more every month. Without even thinking about it, I am set to have $36,000 chilling in my bank account by the end of the year.
I tell you this not to shine a light on myself. I just want to show all of you what is in your future when you get rid of your debts. Think about all the money that you currently have going out in the form of payments each month. What if you could hold onto it all and just plop it into your high-interest checking account instead? Wouldn’t that just be amazing? In a matter of months you could have more money in your account than you ever thought was possible.
With this large influx of cash each month, you could:
- Increase your investment contributions – If you have absolutely no debt, then you could increase your investment contributions to at least $500 a month. If you are 30 years old or less, then this will put you on track to have $5,000,000 before you turn 70 (yeah, that was $5 million).
- Begin purchasing real estate – Real estate is an excellent investment, especially if you can buy your investment properties with cash. With no other debt, this is entirely possible. Buy a place for $100k and increase your cash flow by $10,000 per year.
- Make a career move into something you enjoy – Did you feel tied to your job before? With no debt, you will no longer feel the same pressure. By living on $25,000 a year, it really doesn’t matter if you drop your salary from $80k down to $60k. This might set you up to actually enjoy the work that you do and to potentially work far fewer hours than before.
- Start your own side business – If your day job takes up only 40 hours per week, then there is likely time for a side business. Feed your business some cash from your personal account and have fun watching it grow and actually add to your income stream. It’s fun and can be advantageous to your future wealth.
- Continue your education – After freeing yourself from the grips of debt, you will feel invincible and you will probably want to tackle another challenge! If you have always thought about going back to school, then why not go after that degree now? You have the money. Who knows, maybe your new degree will beef up your income even more!
- Enjoy Life a Little More – When you pay off all of your debts your mission isn’t over. There is still much to do before you can quit your job and retire, but you have accomplished a great deal. Instead of living on just $25,000 a year, why not stretch yourself a little and live on $28,000 a year? Eat out more often, host a few parties, and take some nicer vacations. After all, what’s the point of all your hard work if you never get to enjoy the fruits of your labor?
Are you working toward a huge debt payoff? What are your hopes for life after debt?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.