The Truth About Living Debt Free

by Ryan Yates

Don’t buy into the delusion that only the wealthy can reduce their debt; the truth is that anyone can live debt free.

Reducing your debt boils down to common sense financial strategies and old fashioned hard work.

Reducing Debt Takes the Right Mindset

Wouldn’t it be great if living without debt was some magical switch that we could all just turn on?

Unfortunately, it’s not (something I’m sure the credit card companies are thankful for). Reducing debt takes focused attention and action.

Everyone makes mistakes when it comes to finances. Even hard workers. But you must be willing to continue to work hard, or even harder, to reduce your debt. Everyone can have hope for a debt-free future, but you’ve got to work for it.

If you expect everything to be handed to you on a silver platter, you need to wake up. There’s no such thing as a debt reduction couch potato.

I Can’t Work Any Harder

You might be asking yourself, “What’s this guy talking about? I’ve worked hard my whole life and I still struggle with debt.”

I think of two meanings when I use the term “work hard”. Of course you need to work hard at whatever job you have. Sometimes, you might even need to work a second job. But the second meaning is to work hard at reducing your debt.

Working hard at reducing debt includes things like smart spending, budgeting, living within your means, going without certain “luxuries” if they’re out of your price range, creating a plan to pay down your current debt, and sticking with it until your debt reaches $0.

Some of the hardest work you might be involved in is when you stick with your plan. Stay focused and don’t cave, no matter what black Friday deals you find or what your friends are driving.

Avoid the Quick Fix

Quick fix debt solutions usually deliver short-term results and long-term frustration. Quick fixes are quick because their results just don’t last long.

There’s a hint of laziness and avoiding responsibility when we reach for a quick fix to our financial problems.

Don’t think that reducing your debt will be the quickest or easiest thing you’ve ever done. Attaining a debt-free life might be the hardest thing you do.

You must be willing to work and sacrifice in order to correct the debt problem that you created. Take responsibility for your situation, be humble about the necessary steps to recovery, and get ready to commit for the long haul.

If you aren’t willing to work at it, then there’s probably nothing that can help you.

If it took years for you to create your current financial problems, then it will probably take a similar amount of time to rectify the situation.

You Are Not a Lesser Human Being if You Can’t Afford Luxury

Does the term “live withing your means” strike fear into your social status? We live in a place where cultural pressure tells us that we are defined as a person by the things we own; and if our stuff is expensive, then we must be better people.

That’s simply not true. In your fight against overwhelming debt, you need to realize that it’s ok (and even necessary in some instances) to downsize your car, or your house, or your monthly budget.

To get to a place where you are truly living debt free, you need to believe that it’s ok to go without certain luxuries.

If you get caught up in out-doing or out-buying your neighbors, friends, or family, then you’ll find living debt free to be an impossible existence.

But that’s my opinion. Share some of your ideas about living debt free. What are some of the hurdles that keep people from experiencing financial freedom?

Photo By kenteegardin

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

krantcents November 16, 2011 at

Debt free means choices! The only debt I had was mortgages related to rental property and occasional car loans (10 years ago). I no longer longer have either. All my money is working for me versus paying interest. I still have a small mortgage on my house, but I will pay it off in 5.5 years to coincide with retirement.

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Ryan Yates November 16, 2011 at

It’s a great feeling when you turn the tables and have your money working for you instead of paying interest! Way to go. It sounds like you have a great plan ahead of you.

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