Recently I read that nearly 80% of American people are living in debt. Four out of Five. Imagine that.
It made me think that being financially independent is a commodity that not many of us can afford nowadays. It’s par for the course to be in debt it seems. Young Americans who are debt-free are seen as having heroic discipline and drive.
Indeed, not resorting to some kind of loan in order to make ends meet on a monthly basis is something that needs focused attention and discipline. For most of the people, borrowing is kind of an addiction, just like gambling for example.
There is no secret on how to become debt-free and how to regain financial freedom. It’s a journey that most of the time implies changing an entire mindset, and restraining from spending habits that are deeply rooted in each one of us.
Many a time however, people are simply not willing to do that. Simple does not mean easy!
Truth be told, it’s hard not to be a consumerist in today’s world. However, if you really do want to live your life free of any kind of debt, there are some things you’ll need to change and some principles you’ll need to follow.
In this article, we give you (at least) 3 characteristics of debt-free people.
They Make and Multiply
Instead of stating the obvious and saying that debt-free people usually have better spending habits that the others (we all know that in order to be financially stable you will need to know how not to overspend your money, are we?), I want to focus your attention on the ability of debt-free people to make money out of every situation.
Besides the fact that they know how to save wisely, they also know how to spend their money wisely. That being said, the ability of constantly finding ways to reinvest and multiply your money long-term is what separates people who are financially independent from those who are rather loaning money.
There are really countless ways what you can do with the excess of your (saved) money. Starting from knowing how to invest if you’re into investing to starting your own gig on the side – the list goes on and on.
If you’re struggling to find the solution for your finances and you managed to save some extra cash on the side, you should think about how to reinvest it wisely and make it multiply. Simply think of the stuff you’re good at. For instance, if you’re good at tennis you should think of starting a tennis school (just a thought). Try to connect what’s good and what’s useful.
They Solve Problems
Let’s get this straight – living in debt IS a problem. Being debt-free at the moment doesn’t necessarily mean that those people were like that all the time.
Most of us took some kind of loan at some point in time (student loan during our college for example). Trouble is that many people develop the habit of resorting to loan any time there is some kind of financial hardship.
One important characteristic of people who are debt-free is the fact that they know how to seek for solutions elsewhere. As a matter of fact, even if they are paying off debt at the moment, they know that reinvesting the loan won’t really work. Instead, they look into ways of consolidating it and paying it off in as short as they can.
They Have Everything Planned Ahead
People who are enjoying full financial freedom are excellent planners. They have literally everything planned out, from planning grocery store shopping to planning retirement.
Organizing finances in a way that you know where your every penny goes is a key to successful budgeting. If your paper says that you’re spending too much money on your groceries, then you should probably revise your buying and make a list of things you should buy on your next visit to the supermarket.
Sounds funny to some of you, but making lists and not deviating from them actually work.
Okay, having a budget doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be debt free in the next five years. Heck, even sticking to your budget can be extremely testing. But guess what? Merely having a budget looming over you can spur action in the right direction.
And a little bit is better than non at all, right?
It is hard to be debt free. It requires discipline and drive. But thankfully, it’s not complicated. The path to freedom is relatively clear and straightforward.
What’s important is firstly, a mindset shift. But even those with the best of intentions fail to follow their plans at some point. That’s why it is so important to have systems in place to check you when your emotions fail.
Are you free from debt? What were some small, but effective steps you took to get there?