10 Characteristics of Debt-Free People

10 Characteristics of Debt-Free People

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10 Characteristics of Debt-Free People 

Whether you’ve resolved to get debt-free in 2014 or you
have a long way to go, it’s good to be inspired.

Look at
people you know who are already living debt-free lives.

Whether it’s a friend, family member or co-worker, the person
you are thinking of probably shares similar qualities with
other debt-free people.

Here are 10 common characteristics
you can copy to live within your means.

They Pay Attention
to Details

You won’t notice that recurring fee on your
credit card for the gym you’ve stopped using if you’re not
checking your statement regularly.

People without debt
monitor their personal finances closely.

They are less
likely to waste money by forgetting about payment due dates or
overdraft fees.
3 Strategies for Consolidating Debt]

You can start paying more attention also. The key is just to

Try looking at your credit card statements every
month. Next monitor all of your spending. Now add up your
Compare the two and see where you could cut back.
Re-visit this budget a few times a year to stay on track.

They Know Their Stuff
Debt-free people do their own
research. They might have an accountant, but they don’t send
over paperwork or sign their taxes without looking them over.

If you want control over your finances, you need to learn
about them.

It may feel overwhelming but the sense of
security you will feel in understanding what’s happening with
your money will outweigh the discomfort.

If you want to get
an idea of where your credit currently stands and how your
debt is impacting it, the free Credit Report Card will provide
you with two free credit scores and a breakdown of your credit

They Pretend They Make Less
Even if you are
already deep in debt, you can start to improve your situation
by immediately changing the way you look at your money.
Imagine you make 10%, 25% or even 50% less than you do.

Make a budget using that math. It may be impossible at first,
but start making cuts to your spending.

Debt-free people
live on less than they make. This allows them to put money
aside for buying a house, retirement and an emergency fund.

This provides a financial independence that allows you more
options in the future.

They Think Long Term

When the
focus isn’t on immediate gratification, you can make smarter

Sure, it would be nice to have this season’s
hottest shoes, but how will they help your long-term financial

This doesn’t mean you can’t ever buy shoes! It just
means you have to save up before you buy them.

This also
gives you the time to consider if you really even like the
shoes and avoid impulse purchases.

They Aren’t Afraid to

Ask for help. Ask for lower interest rates. Ask for
forgiveness when they make one late payment.

people take control of their finances and they aren’t meek
about it.

If you know someone who has met a financial
milestone you admire (saved $1 million for retirement, bought
a car in cash, etc.), don’t be afraid to ask how they did it.

They Save
Whether you got a significant bonus or a $25
check from Grandma, you should think first of paying yourself.

This is true of your regular paycheck as well.

You know you
have to pay the rent (or mortgage), so treat your savings
account the same way. Make it a habit.
And better yet, make
it a mindless habit by setting up automatic deposit.

Debt-free people know adding even small amounts now will give
you more financial freedom later.

They Set Goals

find it easier to put aside money if you have a strong sense
of what it’s going toward.

This works for when you are
saving up for those shoes, planning a vacation or thinking
about retirement.

Debt-free people set specific goals so
they know what they are striving for. This helps you stay on

5 Steps to Reduce Your Debt]

can be a hard one for young people. It seems so far away!

Think about what sounds appealing about retirement. If it’s
travel, imagine the places you will visit. Now the goal seems
more specific.

They Say No
You may get lots of tempting
offers throughout the week for lunch with co-workers or dinner
with friends.

Don’t be afraid to say no.

people know that saying no to smaller expenses can add up to
big savings.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun.

Host a potluck dinner instead of trying out the new, expensive

Meet up with friends in the park for a walk
instead of taking an expensive exercise class.

They Know
the Value of Cash

Debt-free people know the value of a
dollar… because they see it!

It can be easy to overspend
when you are never seeing actual money. Having to part with
some cash can remind you the transaction you are making is

How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt]

Plus, once
that cash is gone, it’s gone. Try only using cash for a while
and see how it changes your perception of purchasing.

Value Experiences Over Stuff

Debt-free people aren’t
focused on things. They value experiences more than having the
latest things.

The average person will list family and
friends high on what they value. But are your choices
reflecting that?

If you are working extra hours to pay for
a fancy meal with the family, think about the tradeoffs.

Would you be better off not working late and having two (or
five or 10) meals at home with the family?

To become
debt-free, you are going to have to shed some of your current
bad habits and take on some new, more constructive ones.

Use the people who already living debt free as inspiration.

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