My wife and I paid off $26,000 in 11 months a few years ago by keeping up with our personal budget, sacrificing just a little bit, and putting everything extra we had toward our debt.
Most importantly, we created a plan.
But what comes after that?
Paying off unnecessary debt is a HUGE accomplishment and it should absolutely be rewarded!
In fact, I believe it’s necessary to reward yourself after paying off debt. Getting yourself something for doing a great job in focusing and staying the course is great motivation for your next financial goal!
But that’s only one of the results you get for paying off unnecessary debt.
Here are five results you will see from paying off your unnecessary debt.
1. You Get to Do Something Nice for Yourself
We’ll get this one out of the way first since I mentioned it briefly above. After all the sacrificing, planning, scrounging, and success, you deserve to do something for yourself.
In order to reward yourself properly, you should follow two simple steps:
- Decide how much you want to spend on yourself. Unless there is something pressing for you to take care of, I recommend spending the same dollar amount you’ve been putting toward your debt payments every month. So if all your payments plus your extra payment snowball money added up to $1,000 every month, you would spend $1,000 on yourself. Why that same amount? You’re already used to that money being “gone” every month. So why not have one more month of spending that same amount on yourself instead of paying off your debt?
- Decide what you’re reward will be. This is the really fun part. To get the most out of your reward, I recommend it be something that aligns with your values. The reason for this is because it is more likely to fulfill you long term. BUT…big but…don’t be afraid to spend on something that you really don’t even need, that vacation you’ve always wanted to take, or something that doesn’t totally align with your values. I prefer to spend money on experiences, but do what is going to fulfill you most.
Buying yourself something is probably the most obvious reward for paying off your debt. Another option is to set that money aside to save up for something even bigger for yourself.
For example, if you have $1,000 to spend on yourself but your dream vacation is $3,000, put that $1,000 aside specifically for that dream vacation. Then, save up for it using some of the extra money you’re now saving without unnecessary debt and you’ll be there in no time!
The important part is to do something you want to do. Enjoy it!
2. A Reduction in Stress
Let’s face it. Debt can be a HUGE stressor. Even necessary debt (like a mortgage for most people) can be a little stressful.
How many times have you gotten anxiety because the dollar amount that you owe in debt is so big? How many nights have you been kept awake with worry?
I’ve had both those before. I’ve looked at the amount we’ve owed and have gotten that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It. Sucks.
Paying off unnecessary debt, or really any debt, has the stress relieving reward of not having to look at that large number that you owe someone else anymore.
Admittedly, for some people, this can be a strong motivating factor as well as a stressor. But it is very stress relieving to not having that monthly payment anymore and being able to do what you want with the money.
3. A Reduction in Monthly Bills
This can go hand in hand with the reduction in stress, but now that you’ve paid off a debt, you don’t have that monthly bill!
After you take an extra month to reward yourself and spend that extra money on what you want, that money is yours to do with whatever you want.
Add money to your eating out or entertainment budget. Give yourself a little breathing room in your grocery budget. Bolster your emergency fund. Invest for the next phase in your life.
The choice is yours now that that extra money is yours.
I’m sure you can taste the freedom already!
4. An Improvement in Your Relationship
Are you in a long term relationship with someone? Do you have a husband or a wife? I’m sure you know that money in general can be a little bit of a stressor on any relationship.
A big benefit of paying off your debt is an improvement in your closest relationships. For a significant other, instead of paying down debt you will be working with each other to put your money toward meaningful shared goals. These can be saving for a vacation, investing for the future, or whatever you and your partner are working toward.
This can also improve your relationship with your friends. Have you been in a position where you had to refuse an invite to go out with your friends because most of your extra money is tied up in paying off debt? Well, now you’re free! Now you can set aside more money to go out with friends and hang out.
Maybe you could by them dinner for being so understanding while you were paying off debt… 😉
5. Accelerate Toward Your Financial Goals
Once you take care of all of your debt, you have so much more freedom. You not only are able to have the freedom to pursue your financial goals, but you’ll also get there quicker!
Before paying off your unnecessary debt, maybe you had an extra $50 a month to set toward your goal. By the end of the year you would have $600 toward your financial goal. Not bad.
Now imagine, you’ve paid off all of your debt and you now have an extra $800 a month. You take that money and put it toward your financial goal every month (because, hey, you’re adulting, right?).
At the end of a year, that $800 a month gives you a total of $9,600! That’s an extra $9,000 from when you had your debt!
Obviously, your this will vary depending on how high your monthly payments are and what your individual situation is.
Your next goal after paying off your unnecessary debt may be to start paying down your necessary debt. Imagine putting an extra $9,600 toward your mortgage every year!
Whatever your goals are, paying off your unnecessary debt gives you the freedom to get their faster and whatever way you choose.
All five of these results you will see from paying off your unnecessary debt have one thing in common.
They all give you freedom.
You have a lot more options after paying off your debt. You can do what you want with your money.
Your goals will be reached faster. You can take your dream vacation without worrying about cost.
It’s helps you reach and stay in what I call true financial freedom, the ability to do what you want with your money without worrying about your money.
It’s a game changer.
The Root Budgeting System
If you want to reach true financial freedom in a way that will be easy to stick with and feel natural to you, my new book, The Root Budgeting System, takes you through exactly how to do that.
In it I teach you the basics of budgeting, how to use who you are to make it your own, and what to do with it afterward, all in five simple steps.
The result is being able to stick with a budget like never before, and do it naturally while using your personal Root Budgeting System to build the life you want.
You can pick it up on Amazon in either paperback or ebook format!