5 Proven Ways To Maintain A Debt Free Lifestyle
Like weight loss, the shedding of debt is usually the easiest part. While it may not feel like it while you are going through it, getting out of debt is sometimes easier than staying out of it again. If you want to keep your bank accounts flush and your debt low, here are a few things you need to do to make sure you maintain your new debt-free lifestyle.
Keep doing a budget: Once you have paid off your debt, you may think you can stop tracking your spending. Nope! In fact, it is likely that one reason you got into debt in the first place was your lack of budgeting. Stick with your new budgeting habits and watch where every dollar goes so you can plan for emergencies and avoid the lure of credit cards and personal loans.
Learn about your spending habits: What are your biggest temptations? What items are likely to get you to fall in the debt cycle again? Once you know your weaknesses, you can plan for them. Whether you love new clothes, vacations or the latest gadgets, you can work these expenses into your budget so you can still afford some luxuries. You may have to wait a little longer or spend a little less, but you do not have to sacrifice everything. Keep improving your money skills
Set a goal: One reason people often backslide after meeting one goal is that they do not have a follow-up goal to keep them going. Focusing on paying off debt helped you save money. Find a new goal. Save for a home, vacation or other large purchase so you can pay for it in cash. Consider investing your cash or saving enough money to donate to a charity. Choose a goal that will motivate and inspire you to keep making wise financial decisions.
Before you have finished paying off your debt, come up with a plan. Decide your goal so that the transition is easier. Research information so you can start on your new goal prepared. Bulk up your savings, max out your retirement or build a college fund. Read up on your goal so you know exactly where you will start.
Stick with cash: One reason financial experts suggest you pay with cash is that it is often harder to part with money and you can physically see yourself paying for an item. If you maintain this habit even after you are out of debt, you will not be able to go back into consumer debt. Spend only what you have, and stop.
What not to do: Fight the temptation to get a credit card (ever) or to make a major purchase right away. Stay away from any kind of debt, even store cards. You already know that you and debt do not mix well. Once you are out of debt, you find yourself in a unique situation, one on which you have power over your money. Tell yourself that you do not want to pay someone else for borrowing his or her money when you have your own. Stay focused and do not resort to the type of financial habits that will ruin your financial successes.