What’s So Great About Being Debt Free?

by Ron Haynes

What’s so great about being debt free? Would you believe that someone actually asked me that question? “Flabbergasted” wasn’t a strong enough word for me at that moment! As a matter of fact, I was so taken aback by the question that it stumped me for a minute, and made me step back and think — what IS so great about being debt free?

I understand the premise of the question and it WAS asked honestly. For someone brought up in a consumer culture, debt was a means of remaining a consumer, of keeping up with the Joneses, and having it all, now. Debt under those circumstances, is just means to an end and for too many consumers, the end (having stuff) justifies the means (debt).

For the record, I’m not 100% debt free just yet – I still have a mortgage and one small student loan to pay off. But, I don’t believe all debt is bad. Mortgage debt, student loan debt, and business loan debt can all help you better yourself by living in a nicer home, increasing your job possibilities, and getting a business off the ground. Though you want to get those types of debts paid as soon as possible, they aren’t like the life-sucking, income-draining, never-ending-pain-in-the-neck that high interest consumer debt is. That stuff is poison and you want to get it paid off quickly.

What’s so great about being debt free? Here’s a hint — it has the word “free.” (Read my book review of Debt Is Slavery)

Being debt free means:

  1. My take-home pay … actually IS take-home pay.
  2. I don’t pre-spend money I haven’t earned.
  3. I can answer the phone without worrying it’s a debt collector.
  4. I can pay for Christmas without fear that I’ll still be paying for it next year.
  5. Being prepared for a job layoff … or a job loss.
  6. Being able to confidently invest.
  7. I never worry about having my car get repossessed.
  8. Having a strong emergency fund.
  9. Knowing I can handle most financial problems.
  10. Watching my savings account balance increase with each statement.
  11. Knowing that my credit score makes creditors want my business.
  12. Three words: “Paid In Full.” Ahhh.
  13. Knowing where my money is going.
  14. Being able to negotiate better deals because I pay cash!
  15. Being able to shop around since I’m not limited to buying from the only company willing to offer me credit.
  16. Setting an example for my kids.
  17. Knowing my checks will never bounce.
  18. Peaceful sleep.
  19. Never having to visit a pawn shop so I can put gas in my car (true story).
  20. Being able to replace things I need without worrying about the credit charges.
  21. Knowing that retirement will be a reality, not just a pipe dream.
  22. No more late fees!
  23. I’ll never be upside down on a car, or a computer, or anything else.
  24. Buying what I want without worrying about how I’ll pay for it later.
  25. Never having to use one credit card to pay on another.
  26. The tax man doesn’t scare me.
  27. That nice (but expansive) dinner won’t give me heartburn from the interest.
  28. I have money left over each month to help my kids while they’re in college.
  29. The things I own DON’T own me.
  30. Money isn’t the foremost thing on my mind all the time.

I’m sure there are many more advantages but these quickly come to my mind. What about you?

What do YOU think is the best thing about being debt free – either now or one day in the future?

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1001 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 4 comments }

YFS

The best part of being debt free is the freedom and flexibility it provides you. When you’re bound by debt you lose out on being flexible in certain circumstances.

Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey

Nothing beats the freedom and the wonderful feeling of being debt-free! And yes, more peaceful sleep.

Ron

Paying off debt does truly provide some relief to your soul doesn’t it? All I have left is my mortgage (about 70% LTV now) and a student loan that’s about to get viciously attacked.

Slinky

Having options. Without debt, you have better cash flow, you have lower expenses (interest!), and you have the option to sell assets or take on debt if you need to. If I had a real emergency and needed cash right then, I could go to the bank and get a personal loan, I could sell my car for whatever I could get for it. If you own your home entirely and really need to move, you can take the loss and sell it. You can’t do those things when you already have a lot of debt or owe too much money on your car or home.

If you own more than your car is worth and more than your house is worth and have your CC(s) maxed up to your eyeballs, and still have student loans, and maybe a personal loan from somewhere, what do you do if something really awful happens or the opportunity you’ve been waiting all your life for comes along?

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