A recent article I read from http://www.DaveRamsey.com listed 7 characteristics or traits of debt-free people. My hope while reading the article was that I possessed some if not all of these characteristics.
In the article, two different family scenarios were given. The first family only made $35,000 per year but found a way to pay off $40,000 of debt in 24 months. The second family made $100,000 per year but could not pay off any of their debt. What made the difference in the two situations? The article mentions that one family has a spending problem. Sound familiar? They can barely make the minimum payments so they are in a continuous debt cycle. Again, does this sound familiar?
What could help this family get out of the continuous debt cycle? They need to decide they’ve had enough and will not continue down the same path. My family had to make that decision, as well.
Here are the 7 characteristics found in people who are debt-free:
1) They are wise. I don’t know about you, but I thought I was wise about money. However, I realized I wasn’t wise about spending. There is a difference in the two.
Debt-free people know that to get out of debt and change their outlook on debt and spending. They have learned to view debt as if it were a disease that could destroy them. If you found out you had a disease would you do all you could to find a cure even if it included making changes in your lifestyle? That is how these people look at debt.
2) They are patient. Oh, this is a tough one for most of us. I am not a very patient person, but I had to realize that patience was necessary in order to get out of debt.
Learning to delay purchases until you can pay cash can sometimes be trying but is definitely worth it. My family learned to be patient and it has really paid off. We can make large purchases with cash if we will just wait a little longer. That is not always the easiest thing to do when you see other people buying new things all the time but we don’t want to be like ordinary people who are in debt.
3) They are confident. You have to learn to not care what other people think. What I mean is that it doesn’t matter if they think you should get a new car or buy expensive items. When you are working on paying off debt, you have to realize that you are doing things differently so others may not understand. That’s alright because you know the rewards that come along with being debt-free. Be mentally prepared to say no to activities and purchases that don’t fit into your plan. Mental toughness needs to be developed.
4) They are goal-driven. I have discussed this is past blog posts. Not only will debt-free people set goals, they will set a plan of action and then follow it. What is a goal if you don’t take action to reach the goal? It is simply a statement.
5) They are responsible. How many people today do you know who are not responsible? In order to become debt-free, you have to be responsible for yourself and your actions. Responsible people tend to reach their goals. Take responsibility today for your spending and get it under control so you can be financially independent very soon.
6) They are not materialistic. Debt-free people realize it’s not all about the stuff. How many people do you know who have to rent storage units because they have so much stuff? Been there done that. Things don’t make you happy. If they did, wealthy people would all be happy and poor people would never be happy.
7) They are willing to make sacrifices. People who are debt-free know it will take sacrificing to reach the goal of becoming debt-free. They know you don’t have to sacrifice for the rest of your life, but you have to now for the future. Temporary sacrifices for financial freedom.
Get tired of being indebted to others and make the choice to eliminate debt this year! You will be so glad you did and will wonder why it took you so long!