“Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”
– Ogden Nash –
Part of the process of building wealth is freeing yourself from financial debt. The grueling process of paying down debt isn’t an easy task, but one that must be completed in order to continue down the path to financial freedom. It’s obvious that the sooner you pay it off, the more you’ll have to put towards your investment portfolio. However, I don’t believe you should wait until your debt free to begin investing.
The process of paying off debts can and often does take years to accomplish. My personal belief is that you should pay yourself first as if you’re one of your creditors and put that money to work for you while the rest goes towards your debt free goal.
As much as I desire to live debt free as soon as possible, I also know the benefit of compound interest working in my favor over time. So I choose to build wealth and pay down debt in tandem. I know that this goes against the preaching of financial gurus like Dave Ramsey who believes you should be debt free before you begin investing. But, I follow the principle of the richest man in babylon that “part of what I earn is mine to keep” and put that to work for me now.
From my experience, the hardest part of paying down debt isn’t a money issue, it’s a self discipline issue. It’s so easy to give into the temptation of “I have to have it now” rather than practicing delayed gratification. But my determination and commitment to building wealth make it easier to resist.
When we decide to go into debt, our present self isn’t taking into accountability to the affects it will have on our future self. We take for granted that we’ll always have an income to make those “affordable payments”. But what we don’t factor in is that unexpected issues occur and if we’re not properly prepared by having an emergency fund set aside while setting up multiple streams of income, we become extremely vulnerable. This is why we’re on the path to financial freedom.
As a reader of this blog, I urge to to set financial goals today if you haven’t done so already. Make those goals definitive and give yourself a timeline to accomplish them. Vague goals like “I want to be debt free someday” aren’t good enough. Strive for specific targets and dates such as “Have the capital one credit card paid off by January 1, 2021”. This way it’s a measurable goal.
The other thing I want to discuss while enduring this grueling task to become debt free is commitment. I think we often confuse determination with commitment, but they are not one in the same. Determination is the unwavering decision making part, while commitment is the pledge to the course of taking action.
Make a pledge to yourself that it’s normal to live in debt is pure B.S.! The only exception that comes to mind is real estate which is considered “good debt” but has it’s risks as well. Otherwise debt is a burden that should be avoided at all costs (pun intended).
It’s grueling, but staying focused on the end result makes enduring the debt elimination process tolerable. There are countless articles, videos and podcasts on click bait title “ways to become debt free”… but the ONLY way to become debt free is to remain vigilant.
One last thing I want to say is that debt free does not equate to being financially free. Just because you don’t have debts to pay once achieved doesn’t mean there still aren’t cost of living expenses that need to be met. Until you have enough income saved and multiple streams of income other than working a job, you aren’t financially independent.
As I like to always say… “the journey begins with the first step”.
Be sure to like, comment and subscribe to the blog if you haven’t done so already because I’ll be putting up more wealth building posts in the near future.
Until next time… be sure to comment below and let’s get some dialogue going.