Finally getting out of debt is definitely a huge milestone. That amount of relief that you get when you finally make the last payment is just priceless.
Back when I was still working an 8-5 office job, I was earning a decent paycheck yet I was horrible at how I handled my money.
I had bad spending habits. I consistently spent more than what I can afford and of course, eventually, all those bad habits buried me in so much debt.
After having to quit my very stressful office job ( because of mental health reasons) it just felt like I was drowning in it.
And since I was in between jobs, freelancing, and with all the bills piling up, getting out of debt just seemed too impossible.
I kept telling myself that no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try to fix things and turn my situation around, I will just keep on failing.
And doing that was a definite mistake. It only made me feel worse. It made me feel constantly discouraged and hopeless — making things even harder.
So, that’s when I decided to shift that behavior and start focusing on the things that I can do to get out of debt instead.
I started wondering how some people even do it in the first place. How some people get out of debt and stay debt free?
And over time, I realized that the debt-free people share a lot of common habits. Habits that help them pay off all their debts and stay financially free.
And I tell you, slowly incorporating these habits into my life was a game changer and I’m hoping that it will do the same for you!
Here are 5 habits of debt-free people…
They practice delayed gratification
Learning to delay gratification is an essential step in getting out of debt and staying debt free.
I used to live for instant gratification. I would easily blow my paycheck on unnecessary things, thinking that I deserve it and just because I want it.
But that behavior only leads me to financial ruin.
I’ve learned that people who are debt free are patient. They might not be able to keep up with the latest trends. They might need to wait a year to finally get that dream vacation that they wanted but they are okay with it.
They know what their financial goals are and they focus on it. They won’t ruin their finances just to pay for the wants that they couldn’t even afford.
They standby on the fact that if they don’t have the money to pay for something that they want in cash, then they don’t get it.
Instead, they wait until they have enough money saved for it.
They live below their means
Whatever your financial goals may be, learning to live below your means can help you achieve it.
And people who are debt free knows this. They don’t elevate their lifestyle just because they got a raise.
They don’t try to keep up with the latest trends and gadgets even if they can afford it.
And most especially if making those unnecessary purchases is only going to bury them in debt.
They recognize the fact that just because they can afford it, doesn’t mean that they need it.
Instead, they live on less than what they make.
This allows them to use that extra cash to build an emergency fund, wealth building and stay debt-free.
They take responsibility for their actions and they learn from their mistakes
I can’t emphasize enough how important this habit is. This statement might be cliché but regardless of how much we deny it, most of us still have a difficult time living up to it.
Back when I was still working my 8-5 office job, I had this bad habit of making impulse purchases every time I was stressed — purchases that I could barely afford.
And every time I get those credit card bills, my heart just literally sinks. I then make a promise to myself to never do it again.
But of course, that wasn’t true.
Instead of keeping my promise and taking responsibility for my mistakes, I always end up breaking it and I was constantly justifying my bad spending habits — I never really owned up to it.
Debt-free people are not like this. Yes, they also make mistakes — we all do.
But instead of justifying their actions, they own up to it.
They see their mistakes as a learning opportunity and then they decide to not make the same mistake again.
They maintain a savings account
Having money saved for a rainy day is an essential step in living a debt free life. I mean, you’ll just never know when an emergency will hit you.
Though we are not really hoping for one, we can never be certain that we will never experience one.
So, it always pays to be prepared when that emergency hits. So, you won’t find yourself scrambling to look for the money or bury yourself with so much debt.
I know saving money is difficult. In my experience, it even seemed impossible. I always had this mindset that I was not earning enough money to save.
Yes, when I was working in an office job, I was earning good money but still, I had no savings.
But after having to quit my job, I was freelancing and I was definitely not earning as much as I used to, money was constantly tight but surprisingly, I still found ways to save.
So, it definitely doesn’t matter how much (or how little) money you make, saving money is possible.
As long as you are willing to make it a priority.
They organize their finances
Keeping your finances organized is an integral step in achieving all your financial goals.
Debt free people always make it a point to sit down and organize their finances effectively.
They don’t just mindlessly spend their money and pay the bills.
They make sure that budgets are set and of course met. They constantly track their spending and savings and they always know where every dollar is going.
Always keeping your finances organized doesn’t only help you become more aware of how your handling your money, it also gives you the chance to see opportunities to improve your finances and what areas you can easily cut to save even more money.
I know that getting out of debt when you’re broke and living paycheck to paycheck may seem just a dream too impossible to reach but it’s not.
It’s a realistic goal and a lot of people have managed to do it, so why can’t you?
Stop discouraging yourself and start focusing on the things that you can do to help you turn your financial situation around.
Be patient. Focus on your goal and always be consistent with your efforts. You can do this!