How to Master the Art of Debt Free Living

Tips for How to Become Debt Free

Being, becoming, *and* staying financially healthy can be a tough process — especially when you’re young and getting started. Plus, we live in a world where debt seems to be a part of living in itself. In fact, the Experian 2020 State of Credit report shows that the average millennial has around $27,251 in non-mortgage debt. Millennial homeowners, on the other hand, have an average debt balance of $232,372.

So, it goes without saying that mastering the art of debt-free living is hard, too. After all, debt seems to be part of the vernacular we all live in. Wondering how you can, finally, master that art? We have you covered.

  1. Make a budget (no, really).

To a certain extent, ending up in consumer debt goes hand in hand with spending unintentionally — or spending out of your means. The key? Creating a budget that really and truly makes sense for your lifestyle and your financial situation. Plus, these days, budgets don’t have to be this complicated paper graph. Instead, technology and apps make budget building SO easy and versatile… and making (and sticking to) a budget could really just make all of the difference. 

Now, understand this important point: making a budget doesn’t have to mean that your life is going to be instantly boring and free of all fun spending. In fact, not even close! On the other hand, making a budget may give you a map that allows you to spend freely… within reason, and without debt. And, what’s better than that?

  1. Practice the one-week rule.

If your debt comes from impulsive spending (as a lot of consumer debt does), there’s a simple tactic you can use: wait. Challenge yourself to implement the one-week rule — where you wait a week before any nonessential purchase — and watch what happens! This is especially helpful as you pay off debt, since it helps you implement new spending habits. Plus, the one-week rule is just like a budget… it gives you freedom to spend how you’d like, just with intention.

  1. Pay off your debt with a strategy that makes sense.

Paying off debt can seem incredibly insurmountable, but it doesn’t have to be — at least, not with the right strategy! Instead of staring at a seemingly endless mountain of debt, pay off the debt with a strategy that makes sense, like one of these:

  • Try the snowball method, where you pay off the lowest debt first, and then apply that debt payment to your next highest debt
  • Pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first, making your way down to the lowest interest rate
  1. Only spend money that you can instantly pay off

The quickest and most effective way to master the art of debt-free living is to not get in more debt. It’s that simple. And, the quickest way to get there? Stop spending money that you don’t have the cash to cover. If you don’t have $150 in checking to buy a new sweater, don’t put it on a credit card. If you don’t have $2,500 to buy a new stationary bike, don’t put it on a credit card. It’s that easy!

Over here at CIFS, we’re ready to help you live the most financially healthy life you can! With resources geared towards you and your money, we’ve got you covered. Find out more here.

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