July 4th is a very important holiday here in the United States. It is the day that we celebrate our country’s declaration of independence from Britain in 1776. Hopefully, however you decide to celebrate this day either with a cookout, spending a day beside the pool, spending time with family, or enjoying some backyard fireworks, you will enjoy it. But how many of us today would also like to celebrate our independence from debt? Below are the three things I recommend people do to declare their financial independence.
Say no to new debt
The first thing you must do to declare you financial independence is to draw that line in the sand and decide that you will no longer use debt as an option. By taking borrowing off the table you are forcing yourself to become disciplined with your spending and to plan for your future. This means closing the line of credit at the bank, cutting up your credit cards, and saving for purchases in cash. You can’t get out of debt by continually borrowing more money. So by stopping the leak (or flood) in the dam you are now able to deal with the left over debt.
Make getting out of debt a priority
All of the people I have interviewed on the Debt Free Living Podcast got out of debt by making it a priority. Those who are not intense about getting out of debt and are not mad about their situation are unlikely to follow through. That does not mean you have to stop all spending and have no fun whatsoever, but getting out of debt does not just happen; it has to be a goal of yours.
Remember your “Why”
The weight lifted off your shoulders once you pay off your last debt is incredible, but you will never get to that point unless you have a reason. That is why I like to recommend that people remember their “Why” when getting out of debt. Your “Why” can be anything from wanting to travel more, to spending more time with the family, to wanting to quit your job and stay home with your kids, to just being tired of having the money stress. But whatever your “Why” is, focusing on it instead of the budget or the debt snowball will get you where you want to go.
Sometimes I think we can take our country’s independence for granted, but people who have gotten out of debt never take their financial independence for granted. So make the decision today to declare your financial independence from your debt!