Ok, so plenty of people have written on the fundamental advantages of living debt-free. This post is a little different. I wanted to provide ten “lesser known” reasons for living debt free. I want to shed light on things that don’t really show up on the surface of analyzing leveraged living, but become evident as one begins to live freer and freer of debt. In no particular order:
1. It teaches you self discipline. Walking away from a purchase you can’t afford flexes your “self-discipline muscle.” It teaches you to make more and more disciplined decisions in your life.
2. It causes you to make better decisions with your money. When you decide to spend only what you make, there is less to spend. Therefore, you are more cautious to spend your money. By doing so, you tend to make much wiser decisions with the resources that you have.
3. It increases your patience. You simply have to wait longer to have things when you deny yourself “20 Easy Payments of 29.95″. You learn patience as you wait to purchase things with cash.
4. It increases your planning. You must begin to think with longer time-tables to be able to purchase anything expensive. You have to plan ahead to make things happen.
5. It simplifies your life. While waiting to purchase goods you “can’t wait to have” you realize that you don’t really need quite as much as you previously thought. The debt free person has a much deeper understanding of the difference between “wants” and “needs”.
6. It teaches you contentment. When you have to wait longer to purchase things and your life is increasingly simplified, you become more and more content with what you do have. In a sense, you become unplugged from the instant gratification bigger is better culture in which we live.
7. It deflates unnecessary ego. I remember the first time I had to tell a friend I couldn’t afford something. It hurt my ego for sure, but on the other side of the fence it was liberating to not feel as if I had to “keep up with the Joneses”.
8. It increases your creativity. When spending money is no longer the only option for having fun, you begin to become more creative with your time and entertainment. You find things to enjoy that are “free” and often more enjoyable.
9. It decreases your regret. With less to go around you become more focused and spend money on the things that you actually desire. You make less and less impusle buys.
10. It will affect all areas of your life. So many of the skills listed above will translate into other areas of your life: your health, your marriage, your career, your friendships, and on and on. Living debt-free requires a skill set that will inevitabely have a positive impact on all areas of your life.