Why Do You Really Want to Get Out of Debt?
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Doesn’t this seem like an easy question to answer? Don’t we all want to be debt free? Seriously, don’t we? The funny thing is when I ask some people this question, they seem to give me a canned answer. “I don’t like debt and I want to pay it off!” While this could pass as an acceptable answer, I have heard it too many times to believe it.
Most people probably don’t like debt, but there are many of us who had no issues going into it. I, for one, enjoyed spending that money I didn’t have for things I couldn’t afford. Do you remember my Jetski story? Well, that fun little toy cost me way too much money and was one of my worst money mistakes.
Though I was tired of paying my hard earned money to all of the credit card companies, I didn’t have much of a reason to get out of debt. That all changed when my wife and I wanted to have a child.
Having kids is extremely expensive. No matter if you save money on clothes or food, kids are expensive. While I was tired of paying so much each month on my credit cards, my get out of debt a** kicking came when I thought about how much harder it would be with a baby in the picture.
Why I Wanted to Get Out of Debt
My main reason to get out of debt was to protect my growing family. When it was just my wife and I, we could handle the minimum monthly payments. They weren’t fun, but we weren’t struggling too bad to pay them. Actually, I wasn’t struggling. I didn’t involve my wife much considering it was my doing when racking up the debt. Either way, my priorities changed when we talked about having a baby.
How was I going to pay for the things we needed?
How was I going to provide for my family?
These questions scared me a bit. I didn’t have an answer. Luckily for me, that answer came in the form of aggressive debt repayment. After I calculated how fast I could pay off my debt and save at the same time, I was on my way. It took me four years to pay off all of my credit card debt, but I also saved a good amount of money. It was the perfect outcome to my story.
During my journey, I realized there were so many things I could do to grow my wealth. With more money actually going into my pockets, I could start investing. I could save more for retirement, and I could save money for our child’s education. These things were important to me, but also very exciting. Paying off my debt gave me many possibilities, which I wanted to explore.
What Is Your Reason for Paying Off Debt?
Seriously, think about it. Don’t let the typical “I don’t like debt” be the answer. That is a weak response. What is your true motivation for paying off debt? A better question might be: what is your plan once you have paid off your debt? Goals and planning are big parts of personal finance. There is no mystery to that. What do you want to do with your money? What do you want your money to do for you?
Is financial freedom your answer? Why? What are your plans when you become financially free? Saving for retirement? Traveling? Being comfortable?
I ask this question because there are too many who just use the vague canned answer. I feel these people might fall right back into the debt trap if they don’t have a plan for their money when their debt is gone. I know I have been tempted a few times, but I get back on track once I look at my goals and that keeps my spending desires in check.
What is your true reason for being debt free? What will make all the self-sacrifice and passing up on toys and YOLO experiences worth it? Give it to me straight!
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