Top Ten Things Debt Free People Do
With thanks to Renee Sylvestre Williams writing in Forbes.com
They are detail-oriented and very organized
Paying off debt means knowing what you owe, developing a budget and sticking to it. Debt-free people keep track of their bills, how much they earn, how much they save and how much they invest. They speak to experts and have a tracking system in place, whether it’s an Excel file or another program.
2. They’re stress-free
Debt creates stress. People worry about money, they dread next month’s bills, they can’t sleep at night which leads to poor work performance… the list goes on. Getting rid of debt gets rid of stress.
3. They operate within a budget
Just because they have disposable income doesn’t mean they spend haphazardly. If they can afford it, they’ll spend. If not, they’ll wait or forgo spending.
4. They pay cash
If you don't have the money, don't use credit as that will increase your debt load.
5. They don’t have a lot of credit (and they understand credit)
Credit, when understood and used properly, is a good thing. Debt-free people aren’t afraid of credit. Instead they use it properly to build their personal credit and pay their cards off every month to avoid interest.
6. They understand value
Do you really need ten tops from a fast-fashion store or one very good, high-quality top that will be worn for years? Debt-free people consider the value of items before purchasing versus mindlessly buying stuff.
7. They’re patient
Debt-free people make the hard decisions. If they can’t afford something, they either wait until they can or choose to do without.
8. They comparison shop
They wait for sales or buy second-hand. That’s not because they can’t afford it. They know that it’s silly to automatically pay full price for everything. Debt-free people have a habit of looking for realistic and pragmatic ways to save money.
9. They’re not materialistic
Debt-free people might like nice, shiny toys but they don’t define themselves by their possessions.
10. They think long and hard about taking on new debt
I was debt-free for a long time and was hesitant to take on new debt via a mortgage. It took a lot of thought, some calculations, a lot of research and talking to real estate and financial experts before making the choice to take on new debt. Thanks to my previous experience being debt-free, I continue to practice my debt-free habits as well as focus on paying off my new debt as soon as possible.