Charis Brown, Clark.com
Are you ready to become debt free? People who are debt-free often have a completely different mindset than those who carry debt.
It’s never too late to turn things around
Even though two people could have the same education, come from the same financial background and make the same amount of money, the difference in their financial picture could be night and day, depending on how they view money.
Debt-free people might have carried debt in the past or might have witnessed the havoc that carrying a large amount of debt has had on other people’s’ lives, vowing never to be in the same position. But the great thing is, when it comes to your money, no matter where you start, you get to decide where you go from here!
Read more: How to pay off credit card debt
Here are 7 things debt-free people never do
1. Ignore their accounts.
Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to money, and those who are debt-free know this.
Though some might border on slightly obsessive, people who are debt-free are aware of their money and where it goes. They attach a high value to a dollar, because they know how hard they had to work to make that dollar.
People who are debt-free are watchful over their money, and they monitor their accounts so they know where they are.
Tracking your spending — every dollar that comes in and every dollar that goes out — is one of the best ways to maintain control of your money and reduce how much you’re wasting each month.
Read more: 40 ways to take control of your money
2. Neglect saving.
People who are in debt generally carry a mentality of scarcity — the feeling or mindset of never having enough.
And very often this actually causes people to avoid saving and continue spending, because they associate cash flow with a sense of temporariness.
But if you think of you money like a pie, and you tell it where to go before it’s even spent, then you can avoid this mentality altogether.
You might have heard this saying from people who have been successful in their finances: “Pay yourself first.”
People who are debt-free make it a priority above anything else!
Here are some resources to help you get started:
- Budgeting 101: How to create and maintain a budget that works for you
- Why you need emergency savings and how to start building it
- How to increase your income by reducing expenses
- 7 ways to create a successful savings plan that won’t fizzle
- Wealth-building wisdom from super savers
3. Get duped by smart marketers.
Let’s face it — when you want to become debt-free, you’ve got to become a fierce defender of your wallet.
People who are debt-free can smell a slimy sales gimmick from a mile away. You won’t see a debt-free person signing up for a ’90-day same-as-cash’ offer — they’re way too smart for that. And if they really want whatever it is, they’ll just save up the cash.
Though a ’90-day same-as-cash’ offer might seem like something smart people do to make their money work for them and pay it off before the money is due, the fact is 88% of people do not pay these loans off before the due date. Then, are stuck paying back interest at 24% to 38% interest. No thank you!
Debt-free people know the risks associated with this financial move, and if they want or need something, they’ll pay cash.
4. Waste money.
Debt-free people do not waste money on unnecessary items and they are always checking to make sure there are no hidden fees on their bills and there are no fraudulent chargers on their bank statements. Those who are debt-free are definitely not going to spend $800 on a pair of sneakers.
Sure, they might splurge once in a while. But it won’t be a big splurge, and it definitely won’t derail their overall financial plan. They avoid making unwise purchases, such as cars or homes they can’t afford, spending way more than they have to on something, or spending too much on consumer items that lose their value.
Along with this, they have learned to squeeze every penny out of every dollar, and have found ways to save where most people don’t think there is any room to save.
Here are some ways to help you avoid wasting your hard-earned money:
- 5 ways I save money that most people don’t try
- Why saving money is more than just ‘cutting back’
- 21 ways to spend less money at the grocery store
- 9 money mantras to avoid overspending
5. Become addicted to shopping.
People who are debt-free know that having a focus on acquiring things can put them in a financial rut very quickly. So they do not become addicted to shopping, and they do not let possessions define them. Instead, they value relationships and experiences over things, and they learn to rein in unnecessary spending.
People who are debt-free do not let their money rule them; they rule their money and tell it where they want it to go. They are addicted to saving money versus spending it.
6. Succumb to lack of knowledge.
People who are debt-free take charge of their financial education. Being debt-free for them hasn’t happened by luck or magic — it’s because they’ve realized a thing or two about money, and they are committed to getting better. They’ve taken responsibility for their finances, and part of that has to do with understanding how money works. If you’re truly committed to reaching financial freedom, you have to invest the energy required to make it happen.
Consider the cost of the home mortgage: Most people aren’t aware that by the time they finish paying on a 30-year loan, they will actually be paying over double the home’s original value — due to interest!
People who are free from debt understand the consequences of debt, and they understand why bad debt should be avoided whenever possible.
7. Waste opportunities to make money.
Those who are debt-free didn’t get there by accident. They are hard workers! Not only are they hard at work keeping their budget in check, they are also hard at work at whatever they do to pay the bills. After all, your income truly is your #1 asset to saving money, paying off debt, staying out of debt and saving for the future. So, if there is an opportunity to make money, they’re not going to waste it!
If you want to make more money in 2017, check out these ideas:
- 28 ways to make extra cash each money
- 15 apps that can make you extra money
- 7 ways to start investing with only $100 or less
- Work From Home Guide: Legitimate opportunities to make money from home
If you find yourself in debt — don’t worry! There are plenty of people who have been where you are who are debt-free now. Not having a burden of debts owed is a wonderful feeling! And no matter where you find yourself financially, given time and effort, you can get to where you want to be.
If you want to be debt free in 2017, here are some ways to get started: