Getting out of debt is not easy, but it is possible. Thousands of people do it every year. They do it because of some things they each do. These are the habits of people who are debt free.
There is no greater feeling in the world than not having debt hanging over your head. Whether you’ve worked hard to pay off your debts or never got yourself into a financial bind before, there are things you do to remain financially fit.
While we share the secrets to help you get out of debt, staying there can be tough. It is a change in lifestyle which requires you to give up some bad habits and pick up some new (and better) good ones! Here are ten habits of debt-free people!
THE 12 HABITS OF DEBT FREE PEOPLE
1. THEY ARE PATIENT
People who are debt free all have this in common – When you don’t have debt, you learn to be patient. You know that all good things come in time.
For instance, if you know you need a new car, you need to start saving now and build up the cash. It might take three years to get there, but you can do it.
Patience pays off as you can pay for your vehicle in cash rather than having to take out a loan and getting into debt once again.
2. RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS
The debt free person is responsible with money. Whether they are 20 or 60, they know the value of a dollar. They understand and follow their budget and do not allow themselves to get into financial trouble.
When someone who is debt free makes a money mistake, they own it.
3. MATERIAL ITEMS DO NOT MATTER
When it comes to “stuff,” people who are out of debt know that this is not what matters. Sure, you could have the newest TV, the fastest car, and the biggest house — but at what cost? They know the things that matter most in life and know that money can’t buy them.
In fact, for most debt free people, what matters more in life are experiences rather than things. They know items will not be around forever but that creating memories can last a lifetime.
4. THEY LIVE BELOW THEIR MEANS
People who do not have debt do not spend more than they make. In fact, they often spend much less. They are saving for the future and increasing their emergency fund for that “just in case moment.”
When you are content, you do not need to spend more than you make. You find contentment with what you have, and don’t try to keep up with the Jones’s.
5. THINK LONG-TERM
If you have debt, all you can see is what is right in front of you. That is your debt
People who have no debt can see further ahead and plan accordingly. They plan for the big purchase. The emergency fund is ready for the unexpected. They are prepared for anything that may come up in the future.
6. THEY SET GOALS
Just like people in debt, they work hard for their money. However, what they often do is set financial goals. They might want to go on vacation or get that fancy new handbag. They set a goal on how to pay for it and then work to achieve it.
It might mean fewer dinners out to save the money to pay for it – but they do it. Once they’ve saved enough money, then – and only then – will they take the plunge and make the purchase
7. THEY USE CASH
This may not be the case for everyone, but most people who are debt free use cash.
Even if they use a credit card, they never charge MORE than they have available in the bank to pay off the statement every. single. month. They have learned that if they do not have the money, they can not spend it. They don’t buy now and worry about how to pay it off later.
8. THEY CAN SAY NO
When you have a limited budget, you know what you can spend money on and what you can not. Sure, it might be fun to go out to dinner with your friends on Friday night, but if it is not in the budget, they know and will pass.
9. THEY ALWAYS SAVE
The one habit that most debt free people have in common is savings. When they get paid, they first pay themselves. It might be a company funded 401(k) account or even regular savings. Whatever way they do it, they always save.
The same holds true for any windfalls. If they get a bonus or money from a family member, they will often set it aside and save it rather than run out and spend it right away.
They also watch to make sure that they are not ever paying more than they should for the items they need. It might mean using a coupon or merely waiting for the right deal to come along.
10. THEY ASK QUESTIONS
One thing we did when we needed a new television was to negotiate a discount by paying with cash. We knew it did not hurt to ask, and for us, it worked! We were able to save 5% off of our purchase – just by using cash.
Those who are not in debt are not afraid to ask for discounts. They are not afraid to ask for a lower interest rate (if they truly need a loan for any reason). They realize all that can happen is that they could be told no. However, they also know that they might get what they’ve asked for!
11. THEY PAY ATTENTION TO THEIR BILLS
When the bill arrives, they not only look it over to ensure it is accurate, but they also make sure it is paid timely. By doing this, they are never late paying bills, which results in late fees.
What they do when the bill comes is always look it over and then place it somewhere they know they will remember to pay it on time. They may make a notation on a calendar or spreadsheet to remind them of the due date — so it is always paid on time.
12. THEY KNOW THAT MONEY DOES NOT BUY HAPPINESS
Many times, people in debt are in that situation because they’ve spent money trying to fill an emotion or other need. Instead of shopping out of necessity, they buy out of emotion.
Shopping to fulfill a need results in nothing more than debt. Take the time to figure out why you shop. What is it you are trying to replace? Work to make a change in that part of your life, and you will find that your desire to shop for fulfillment can fade.
Whether you are in debt $5,000 or $50,000, I know you are doing what you can to get out from under your financial burden. If you start to practice the habits of debt free people now, you can put those ideas to work for you — and get your debts paid down even more quickly!