One of the big reasons I started this blog was to flip my personal finances. One thing in particular I’m working on is paying off my debt.
Currently, we are on track to pay off our credit card debt by the end of this year. We just have to keep following the budget! Easier said than done, but we are very motivated to get out of debt.
There are many reasons I want to pay it off, but I want to share my top 4 reasons to be debt-free once and for all.
1) For my Family
First and foremost, I want to provide the best life possible for my family. Currently, the term “family” consists of my wife and dog.
Over time, I hope to add children to the equation (but that won’t be for at least a few years). I love my family and want to provide for their needs and eventually their dreams as well.
I want to have conversations with my wife about money. Not fights. According to CNBC, over a third of Americans say that finances are the leading cause of stress for them. This stress leads to constant arguments which can eventually lead to divorce…
I want to get out of debt in order to lessen any possible stress it’s putting on our relationship. We are going for the proactive versus reactive approach when it comes to discussing our finances which is why we have a weekly "family council".
During these councils, we go over the budget and our money goals so we stay on the same page and stay accountable to each other. This way, if/when something comes up, we know where we are and we'll know what to do.
2) Less Stress in My Life
I don’t know about you, but when I think about debt it stresses me out. There’s nothing desirable about owing money to another person or company. Nothing at all. I like being self-sufficient and not owing other people money. Having any amount of debt makes me a little crazy which can is more than enough motivation for me to get out of it and avoid it as much as I can.
There are few things I hate in life, but debt is definitely one of them. Other things I hate may include olives and calling the IRS. (If you’ve ever called the IRS then you know what I’m talking about.
There are enough things in life to stress about. I simply want less stress in my life and I know that paying off our debt will accomplish that goal.
3) The Clock is Ticking
This third reason to get out of debt relates to my age. I’m not getting any younger, that’s for sure.
While I’m relatively young in my 20s, I still want to get out of debt as soon as possible in order to free up more time for compound interest to do work for me.
Once we get out of debt, we will contribute the max amount possible to our ROTH IRAs and capitalize on compound growth since time is on our side.
If my wife and I both max out our ROTH IRA’s next year we would need to put in $11,000 total. In 40 years, that $11,000 will be worth $164,719 (assuming only a 7% interest rate). If we assumed a 10% rate of return (which isn’t unreasonable) then the total would be $497,852!
Time can either work for you or against you. Do everything in your power to have it work for you.
If you want to see how much your money can grow to check out this cool retirement calculator.
4) Live a Self-Reliant Life
Last but not least, a huge motivation for me to pay off debt now is to live a self-reliant life. My wife and I were fortunate to take a finance class together over the summer and it was extremely useful for us. Its main focus was to be self-reliant in all things, not just finances.
Self-reliance means not relying on the government or our extended family for means of support. However, we all rely on others at some point in our lives. From a baby until we get out of the house, we rely on parents or guardians to raise us.
Once we are 18 though, we are typically expected to be self-reliant. There is something empowering and meaningful about paying for all of your expenses and taking care of yourself.
There is something even more special about it when you’re caring for your immediate family, whether it be your spouse, children, or even pets (because they can be family too :)).
Getting out of debt is a difficult thing to do. It can seem daunting, even almost impossible at times. Don’t give up. Find your motivation, and cling to it. Keep going and you will succeed.
What about you? What is/was your motivation to get out of debt?