What Motivates You to Be Debt Free?

getaway weekend

When you finally make the decision to become debt free, like I did recently, you’ll quickly find it takes more than just willpower.

For many of us it’s a long journey, one that might take years to complete. So how do you keep up the intensity without getting discouraged?

Even with the best technology, apps and financial tools available, the only thing that’s helped me stick it out is reminding myself of why I’m doing this in the first place.

I had to find inspiring reasons to live a debt free life.

The awesome thing about finding inspiration for your personal finance journey means there aren’t any rules. Inspiration can come from anywhere (or anyone) in any form, shape or size. Here’s a few things that inspire me.

Freedom to choose

Going through the latest economic recession has taught many of us valuable life and money lessons. Our futures aren’t as secure as we thought, we took too many risks and didn’t educate ourselves about proper money management.

But after that all came crashing down, we learned that we’re stronger, more resilient and smarter because of the experience.

Becoming debt free alleviates some of the pressure from bills and lets us choose what we want to do with our money. It opens up opportunities to save more, invest more, give to charities and help our kids go to college.

Lead a passionate life

This is one of the most inspiring reasons I wanted to become debt-free.

One of my passions is traveling, so not having any debt means I can see the world and become location independent with my career. I can create a job that revolves around my life instead of my life revolving around my job.

Living with less debt means more freedom to see family and friends whenever we like, or take time off work without wondering how we’ll pay the bills when we get home.

It’s the opportunity to live a more stress-free life, make decisions based on what we really want and follow our passions.

Peaceful relationships

Being in a relationship, whether it’s with your kids, your partner or your peers is always more difficult when you add money to the mix.

Money fights and money arguments are one of the main reasons couples get divorced, and it’s the biggest reason my marriage failed too.

There are so many more important things to work on in a relationship than to constantly worry about money. While becoming debt free won’t solve all relational issues, it definitely brings more peace and stability to the situation.

Better retirement future

Recent studies have shown that many retirees have been unable to quit their jobs and retire when they originally planned.

They weren’t able to save enough for their future during their working lives, and are having to work longer or scale back their lifestyles in their retirement.

As mentioned above, freedom from debt means we have more control over our future and retirement savings.

We won’t need to rely on the (broken) Social Security system or get financial help from our kids. We can be financially independent and enjoy our retirement years.

These are just a few examples of what being debt free can mean. Now it’s your turn to share.

What are your inspiring reasons to become debt-free?

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  1. BestMoneySavingBlog says:

    What inspires me to be debt free is that I’m a bit free spirited – I’d like to just get up and go somewhere without having to worry about paying this debt or that debt. Not that I’m planning on doing so any time soon but to have the freedom to do it would be rather appealing. 

  2. Monica says:

    Carrie, you are so right about the stress that debt and money troubles create, they are like a cloud that follows you around. I agree that working to be debt free and reaching that goal provides more freedom to choose what you want to do with your money, your time, and your life.

  3. Jason says:

    Seems to be the popular theme but Freedom is definitely the right word. Freedom to work a job I love and not have to work it solely because of the $$. Freedom to spend without regret or worry. Freedom to travel and save for retirement.

  4. Modest Money says:

    I’d have to agree with everyone about freedom.  When you are in debt you are tied down to paying that off and your finances are limited.  That can really affect your life.  Once you are debt free, you are much more free to pursue the things that you want.  I don’t like to have to worry about money much.  It’s so much less stressful to just be clear of debt and just live life.

    • Carrie Smith says:

      It’s amazing how restrictive debt can be. But when you measure it up against the freedom to do what you want and live your life, you can really see how it holds us back. 

  5. So many things inspire me to become debt free, but I think I’d have to agree with you on living a passionate life and the freedom to choose. I don’t want to be strapped down and in essence, working for free. To me, it feels like working for free because I tend to think that the money is not “mine.” I don’t want to get in that mindset if I am setting aside a specific amount for debt.

  6. I want to have options. I don’t want to be stuck anywhere, ever. I don’t want to be miserable in a job I hate because if I leave I’ll get evicted or foreclosed on. I want to live my own life and not someone else’s. I want to make a difference in the world. A difference that I decided to make and not my employer or the government. I want to do what I’m good at, what I’m passionate about and what I love to do. That’s why I got my butt out of debt and plan to stay out of debt!

    • Carrie Smith says:

      That’s awesome Kraig! I couldn’t have said it better myself. Having options is a huge drive for me personally and I can’t wait to become debt free, so I can live a life I CHOOSE. 

  7. Robb says:

    I’m a numbers guy so for me it was the realization that if I played the normal debt game – namely car payment, furniture payment, house payment, electronics payment – even though all those payments could be fit into my monthly income I wasn’t going anywhere. The debt game is like running on a hamster wheel where you expend a ton of effort and go nowhere. Not to mention it is effectively financial death by a thousand cuts because your whole income is going out the door every month – thereby making building any kind of actual wealth impossible. That’s another thing, I didn’t understand that income and wealth are two different things. A guy with a million dollar annual income who spends it all has no wealth, but someone who makes a 10th of that and saves half will have a lot of wealth.
    The other thing is – like others have mentioned – the enormous amount of stress that is removed right now if you are debt free and I imagine for couples it is even greater since that is a top issue of conflict. Plus later on in life you have enormous flexibility to do whatever you wish since by that point you will be independently wealthy. Sadly a lot of people will probably still be running on the debt wheel well into their 60s. 🙁

  8. Broke Gal NYC says:

    For me it just seems like money that I would rather spend elsewhere, plus being debt-free enables you to have more freedom to change jobs, travel, or invest/buy things. I think being debt-free is the first step to financial freedom.

  9. Shannyn says:

    Aside from my student loans which I will make a priority to pay off, my goal in STAYING debt free (since I’m relocating) is to be able to have the freedom to save for the next big thing… I don’t want anything in the way when I finally find the dream home or Mr. Right… I want to be sure to have something put aside for the next adventure, not be paying off the things I’ve already gone after.  

    I’m worried about staying debt free when I move to NYC, but your blog inspires me to try harder and not throw in the towel on my debt free pledge!

    • Carrie Smith says:

      I’m sure staying debt free is just as difficult as becoming debt free. Especially since there are so many temptations to overspend and take on more debt out there everyday. But we can learn from each other and stay strong!

  10. Fra_Pacioli says:

    I think it is overly simplistic to suggest that the goal should be to become debt free. There is good debt and bad debt. I think the goal should be to get rid of the bad debt. A home mortgage loan may be an example of good debt. It allows you to increase your standard of living and build equity in a valuable asset. It also provides a large tax deduction each year, which will save you money. Student loans may also be good debt if allow you to obtain a quality education which leads to a rewarding job.

    Many companies have debt on their books not because they can’t afford to pay for things, but the debt allows them to take advantage of opportunities to grow the business and/or save money. The same may be true for personal finance in certain situations.

    I think you should talk about being free of bad debt, rather than just generally advocating being debt free.

  11. Financial Freedom says:

    I believe that the key is to have a strong DESIRE to achieve it. The rest would come as a result of that strong desire. If you really want, you will make a well-designed plan, work hard towards it and  show discipline to stick to the plan… you get the idea.

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