The following is a guest post from Kayla at I’ve Worked Too Hard to Be Poor. I’ve had a crazy busy week so I’ll be back tomorrow! :)
Sometimes I need a little motivation to keep up with my spend-less, earn-more lifestyle so that I can obtain a debt-free life. Otherwise, it can be way to easy to have those YOLO moments where you regret it later, both financially and with a hangover.
Photo credit: Pete
1. I’ll be able to afford really cool things on a whim.
I make a decent enough income where if I craved a really cool new gadget, item of clothing, getting my hair done, or a vacation, I could pretty easily afford it — but only if I didn’t have those extra ‘bills’ each month, aka my minimum debt payments.
According to my current entry-level income and average living expenses, without any debt I would have over $1,800 to spend in any way I please, or to save for anything I want. That’s about $1,100 more than what I have now. Even with the current $700 buffer I have between my minimum payments and my net income, I still put that towards my overall debt — so I really don’t get to enjoy it at all.
2. I can save for a house, nice car, nice retirement, and luxury items.
I want a house, better furniture, and a number of other long-term goals that require saving massive amounts of money to be saved ahead of time. When I’m out of debt, I’ll have FAR more resources to save up for things I want. When I’m out of debt, saving for a nice home will not only be doable, but manageable as well.
3. I’ll feel financially secure.
I’ll be able to build up my emergency fund (with a lot more ease), and have less worry if anything were to happen, because I won’t be stuck paying down debts. I’ll be able to become cash-rich more quickly, which will lead to significantly less stress.
4. I’ll be richer than most of my friends.
Social influence shouldn’t be a concern, but it is. I’ll have financial independence for myself. Even if I have a friend that has a bigger house with a lot of debt, I know that I’ll have far more opportunities, not being tied down to debt, or any significant debt (not having a mortgage too large).
5. I’ll be able to finally give back.
I know this in practice will be the most rewarding of all. I’ll be able to help out my parents in their old age, help out my brother with his own student loan debt (he’s 3 years younger), donate to my favorite causes/charities, volunteer more, and help out my friends in times of need. I’ll be able to afford more meaningful gifts for friends and family (like savings bonds!), and if I ever have children, I’ll be able to provide them with their own college savings and a good life.
Even on a daily level, I’ll be able to afford more organic foods, support small businesses, and afford more expensive alternatives but in exchange for the greater good.
6. I can better fund side projects.
If I’m feeling creative, I can buy the supplies I need to be creative. If I want to start a side project, I can afford the tools and resources I need to get it done easier and quicker, and focus more on the creative side of things, rather than the grunt work.
7. I can have more (and better) life experiences.
If I go on a vacation, I can afford a luxury service if I’m interested. I don’t have to pick and choose between what I want to do and can financially do. I don’t have to save up for as long, and I can travel more frequently. I can go to more concerts to see my favorite bands, or take a class in something I’ve wanted to learn. While I still always plan on saving up for what I want to do, I can do it in far less time, leaving more time for more life experiences.
What will you do when you finally become debt free?
About the Author
Kayla is yet another 20-something personal finance blogger who is currently trying to work herself out of a starting balance of just over $100,000 in debt, between student loans and one car loan. You can find more of her ramblings, advice, and lessons learned on I’ve Worked Too Hard to Be Poor.