Walking the Debt-Free Talk

Jul 9, 2015 by

crosswalk signEveryone I know in my circle and hear from through Money Counselor who has debt wants to have less or no debt. Being debt free is a good goal! But here’s the thing: goals don’t just happen, bub.

For example, to achieve a goal of paying off debt you have to, well, make debt payments. And unless you want to become debt free on your credit card company’s nearly infinite minimum payment timeline or your mortgage’s two or three decade timeline, you have to make accelerated payments—pay more than you’re required to pay. And to do that, you may need a budget and you may have to (gasp!) put off buying every little thing you think you want and forgo that trip to Mexico with your peeps and even take on a side hustle or second job.

Paying Off Debt: Are You All Hat, No Cattle?

Yep, paying off debt is a lot harder and not nearly as much fun as piling it on. That’s why while many say they want to be debt free, few are actually walking the debt-free talk.

How can you tell if you’re one of the many or the few? Run through my checklist below. If more than four of these thirteen are fits, then maybe you don’t really, really want to be debt free.

13 Signs You Don’t Really Want to Be Debt Free

  1. You own an Apple Watch.
  2. You purposely have too much tax withheld from your paycheck so you can reward yourself by blowing your annual tax refund on something fun!
  3. You live in your parents’ basement and wait tables for a living, but feel sure you would never buy a house or condo without granite countertops.
  4. You’ve already stopped reading this article.
  5. You are unemployed and have $50,000 in student loans but are planning a trip to Machu Picchu.
  6. You wouldn’t walk across the street to avoid an ATM fee.
  7. You feel clever after transferring a credit card balance.
  8. You know what the inside of a payday lending shop looks like.
  9. You let a mortgage lender decide for you how much house you can afford.
  10. You’re too busy to learn how to cook good meals at home.
  11. You get your investment advice from people who get paid based on how you invest your money.
  12. You think Mint.com is an online candy retailer.
  13. You see no reason to optimize your credit score because you don’t plan to borrow money soon.

So what’s the verdict? Do you really want to be debt free?

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