Have you ever had the desire to live debt free? Do you think debt-free living is even possible?
Until I saw a friend of mine pay cash for a brand new Sabura WRX recently, I didn’t think that debt-free living was actually possible. Boy, was I wrong!
Since starting the Daily New Year’s blog, I’ve been writing about the various aspects of goal setting, and even though I’m not a financial advisor, CPA, or a financial guru, I’ve been writing about personal finance goals as part of my overall message.
That’s easy! I think financial goals are hugely important and they’re something to take very seriously, especially in today’s economy, and especially if financial freedom is a big item on your life plan.
That said, I find that many people don’t know where to start because their current financial situation is limiting their long-term view of what’s possible with money.
Perhaps many of us aren’t getting serious about our financial goals because we don’t believe we can overcome our current financial situation. I’m here to tell you that you can and, if you keep reading, I’ll introduce you to a group of people that can help.
Debt is Dragging us Down
According to CNBC and Bankrate, 65% of Americans save little or nothing, and only 20% of Americans save money regularly. Not only are these people not saving cash for emergencies, but they’re also are citing the high cost of living, low salaries, high debt as the reasons why.
According to Dave Ramsey, the top seven reasons people aren’t saving are these:
- Cost of Living (the average in 2017 was $57,311.00)
- Lower Salary (78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck)
- Debt (The average American household has $137,063.00 of debt, $9,333 of which is credit cards)
- Not Budgeting (Only 41% of Americans have a budget, start one here)
- Not a Priority (44% of adults can’t cover a $400 emergency)
- Not Thinking About Their Future (42% of Americans aren’t saving for retirement)
If these stats seem to describe your current situation or at least part of it, don’t get discouraged – there is a silver lining. Your dream life is possible!
While doing research for this debt-free living blog post (Shout out to my friend Katie for the idea and props to her for her debt-free goals!) I found something truly amazing: the debt-free community.
Meet the Debt-Free Community
If you haven’t heard of the debt-free community, they’re a group of people who are striving to live debt free, inspiring others to do the same, and supporting each other as they go. If you haven’t heard of them, explore their hashtag, #debtfreecommunity, over on Instagram.
You’ll see people who have paid off $24,000 in just twelve months. You’ll see others who have large amounts of debt and relatively low-paying jobs, but they’re prioritizing debt-free living and absolutely crushing it, day by day. You’ll see funny memes, inspirational quotes, images of payment receipts, downloadable budgets templates, shared monthly goals, and so much more.
The community is so open, caring, and fond of sharing. I challenge you to visit the debt-free community and not get inspired to set a financial goal.
Be warned though: once you’ve been bitten by the debt-free bug, you may wind up starting a side hustle, picking up a part-time job, selling some of your personal belongings to fund extra payments, and more. From what I can tell, it seems super exciting and perhaps a little addictive.
Why the Sudden Mass Movement for Debt-Free Living?
As awe-inspiring as this community is, I can’t help but wonder how it started. Why are so many people suddenly so motivated to be debt free when debt has been considered “normal” for so long? I think it’s incredible, don’t get me wrong, but it does spark my interest.
Perhaps it’s primarily due to social media and the age of the internet. I think people finally see that being debt-free is truly possible. Not long ago I couldn’t imagine living on a cash-only basis and buying a brand new car or a house debt free, and I haven’t done it myself, but I finally believe that it’s possible because this community is proving it.
15-20 years ago, a message like debt-free living wouldn’t have traveled across the world so quickly. But maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with the internet; perhaps it’s just a new generation of thinking. I reached out to a few #debtfreecommunity contributors and asked them why being debt free is so important to them.
“Why is Debt-Free Living so Important to You?”
“Being debt free at 24 provides the peace of mind that I am setting my future up for success. I am sacrificing a lot of fun right now to be able to take care of my future with little-to-no worries. Can you imagine what your life would look at when you are 30 years old with no car payment, no credit cards due, no student loans, and no mortgage? What could you do with all of the extra money you bring in? And how will that shape your family’s future. My future family, when I finally do settle down, is the number one reason this journey has been so important for me.”Elyse Lyons – @thesavvysagittarius
“Being debt free is so important to me because I never want to have money issues or stress. I want to be able to book a one-way ticket to Europe with my partner and travel as much as we want before booking a ticket home. I don’t want to spend my life working until I’m 65. I would rather make a transition in my 50s and pursue hobbies and interests as well as travel. My grandpa and grandma did this and literally traveled the world.”Katie Y – @knyoung1s
“Debt free living is important because you don’t want to go through life paying for the past.”Amanda – @debtfreeinsunnyca
Are you inspired to be debt free?
If you’re inspired to explore debt-free living, I encourage you to visit the Debt Free in Sunny CA blog. Amanda started the #debtfreecommunity and all of the community involvement instructions are outlined there.
Looking for more resources on getting debt free?
Here a few posts to get you started:
- Budget 101: How to Start a Budget in Under an Hour
- Improve Your Personal Finances Using 5 Simple Steps
- 10 Financial Goals for Mastering Your Money
- How to Pay Off Debt with the Debt Snowball
- 5 Ways a Free Annual Credit Report Can Boost Your Financial Goals
- Plus! Download the Daily New Year’s budget template. It comes prebuilt to get you budgeting faster. Access it today!