At Buckscoop we love providing valuable information that helps Australians save money by finding great online bargains. However, the entire subject of debt can get a little heavy at times so this is an article takes a look at how to live debt free and resisting the temptations of going on precarious spending sprees.
Many websites out there offer advice on avoiding debt and how to get good value for money, but very few that I have found focus on those pivotal months following that final debt repayment after changing your spending habits to become debt free. I remember for me how it felt that as soon as I'd paid off my debt, everything I owned started to look tired, broken or old and in 'desperate' need of replacement? Well, those are the exact feelings you need to tackle head on in the early stages to avoid heading straight back into the red.
Making your final debt payment, whatever amount it may be, can be a euphoric sensation with the sudden release of stress. However, don’t fall victim to living a debt free life only to find yourself feeling again that "everything is so expensive" pushing you to spend more. Life after debt should be a permanent thing, not a phase we go through before we find ourselves back in claws of debt.
There are 2 rules you need to follow when dealing with money after debt:
- Make a Plan
- Stick to It
Guys and girls, it’s that simple. You'd probably been persistently following rules to get yourself to the point where you no longer had debt, so don’t throw away all of that hard work once you reach the finishing line. If you are one of the incredibly rare people reading this who have become debt free from winning the lottery, then you may have more liquidity but even certain winners have been known to blow their entire fortune ending up worse off than before hitting the jackpot.
The golden rule is this: If you don’t rule your money, your money will rule you.
Life after debt may give you a sense that many more desirable things are within your reach, but don’t let your desire rule you. An antidote does exist, you just need to be able to find it within yourself. If you have a big urge to buy something, hold off for 24 hours to allow yourself time to think about it.
Whenever I get lured in to a shop by a salesman, the temptation can be difficult to resist but I stop and say "no, I will go home and make a plan". I can then always go back to that shop another day or buy what was being offered online to save more money. Nobody says I have to spend money to honour my achievement, especially something materialistic. It’s the entire ‘treat’ mentality that started my debt trouble in the first place so I always ask myself why succumb to it yet again?
Allowing yourself to go home and make a plan regarding that purchase will open up opportunities to save money, e.g. you may search online and find a new range coming out in 2 weeks which could mean your desired item drops in price. You don’t need to treat yourself there and then because you have been so good at not spending money up until this point. You need to adopt the mentality of someone who doesn’t have debt and who would avoid ever getting into a situation that resulted in it.
Ingvar Kamprad, the owner of IKEA and worth an estimated US$3.4bn, only ever flies economy, drives a 16-year-old Volvo and lives in a bungalow filled with IKEA furniture. He's somebody that strongly believes nobody ever became rich by wasting money. If a person with this sort of wealth is capable of restraining himself to take the bus rather than a taxi, then use this as motivation to help you keep spending under control.
If you're still struggling to keep a tight lid on your spending, then at least visit the Buckscoop deals or vouchers pages regularly to make sure you're not missing on any discount savings that are currently available.