One of the things I used to dream about when I was becoming debt free was how much extra money I was going to have.
I dreamed of going on great vacations and being able to buy things at the drop of the hat simply because I had the money and didn’t have any more payments.
The more debt I paid off the more money was leftover every month which was great! I went on some nice vacations and I did buy a few things. However, what I discovered through the process of becoming debt free is that I also built character in the contentment department of my life.
My motivation to buy stuff is almost non-existent now. I know, boring right?
It turns out that I prefer to spend money on things that bring value to my life. Such as experiences with my family or education and training which, in turn will eventually make me more money. Now that sounds fun, right?
My wife and I have really started investing in ourselves and developing our dreams of owning our own businesses with the money that we would normally be sending to debt and payments. I discovered that being content with the amount of stuff in our lives and almost not being content with where I am intellectually is getting me what I really want in my life.
Now, I am not saying I have low self-esteem or that I am dumb. I just have a different mindset of always wanting to learn and grow rather than putting time and energy into stuff. I have realized the more I do that, the closer I am getting to what I have always dreamed about.
Getting out of debt is the hardest thing I have ever done. What I figured out is that the payoff of being debt free wasn’t the money at all. It wasn’t the vacations or the stuff I could buy. The true payoff is what I became in the process of becoming and remaining debt free.
Being content was one benefit of this entire process that I never expected. I guess once I realized I can live without all that stuff and the tight grip it had on my life, why invite it back in?
And when I actually looked at my life, I found I already have more than enough.
Brad Nelson is a Financial Coach and owns Balanced Cents Financial Coaching. The company was founded with the passion to help and serve people by injecting hope and providing education and direction on personal finance.