The “Miracle” of Being Debt-Free

April 6, 2015

Many millions of people struggle with being in debt. No matter how hard they try, they don’t seem to be able to get out of it. Like yo-yo dieting, they go from one failed strategy to another, never able to get control of their debt, and to eliminate it once and for all. The problem may not be the strategy. It may have more to do with motivation. If you have a clear idea as to why you need to be debt free it might be easier to accomplish, no matter what plan you use. There’s a “miracle” of being debt-free, and if you can grasp that concept, the problem may very well take care of itself.

Here are some of the components of the miracle of being debt free:

You’ll Be Free to Quit a Bad Job

How may times have you been tempted to quit your job, only to be stopped dead in your tracks by the realization that you can’t leave because you have debts to pay? That’s actually not an uncommon situation. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why people continue to stay in jobs that are so uncomfortable that they become physically ill because of them.

It may not even be that the job is causing the ailments, but rather the perception of being trapped in an unsatisfying position.

Let’s look at the flip-side. Let’s say that you are in a bad job – a legitimately bad job, because of an overbearing boss, a weak organization, and even toxic coworkers – but you have no debt. In that situation, you probably won’t stay in that job long enough for it to ever take a physical toll. You’ll simply leave when it becomes clear that the job is beyond redemption.

That by itself can provide strong motivation to getting out of debt. Your ability to move between jobs will be so much easier if your life is not obstructed by debt.

You’ll Be Free to Start Your Own Business

One of the major reasons why people don’t start their own business is because of debt. The problem is that self-employment generally involves a period of time when income is seriously reduced. If you have large debts to pay, you probably can’t afford for your income to drop even as much as 10% per month before you will no longer be able to afford the payments.

It doesn’t matter if you have a brilliant business idea, and all of the skills necessary to make it a reality. If your fixed living expenses are too high, you might not be able to afford to risk a drop in earnings. That means that you are effectively locked into your current level of income.

If you do have plans to start your own business someday, one of the very best ways to prepare yourself for it is to begin getting out of debt right now.

You’ll Be Free to Make a Geographic Move

You have a dream to move to the mountains, to the beach, or even to a small town in farm country. But just as is the case with quitting a bad job or starting your own business, you can’t act on your desire because you have too much debt.

It often seems that big debts are part and parcel of the metropolitan lifestyle. This is because you need a metropolitan level income in order to make the debt service. But if the day comes when you want to step out of that metropolitan lifestyle, your debts will act like a chain-link fence around your life, preventing you from moving outside the pen.

Once again, if you have a dream to move into a different location – one where the income may not be so generous – one of the best ways to prepare for it is to get rid of your debt.

You’ll Probably Enjoy Your Work More

Have you ever seen that bumper sticker, the one that’s adapted from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, that reads something like this:

I owe, I owe, So off to work I go!

That’s kind of cute, wouldn’t you agree? But it’s also incredibly depressing. It implies that a debtor works mainly to pay his debts. What about working because you enjoy what you do for a living? Or because it enables you to live a comfortable life, and to do many of the things you want to do?

The sad reality is that when you’re buried in debt, work does become a burden. That’s because so much of your extra money is soaked up by debt, and that robs you of your ability to appreciate and enjoy your work.

My guess is that if you get out of debt, you’ll find that you’ll enjoy work a lot more. The burden will be lifted because you’ll have more control over your income. You’ll be working to create and live a certain lifestyle, rather than to service your debts.

You Can Live Life With One Less (Major) Worry

A debtor’s mind is never very far away from his or her debts. And if it ever is, the monthly bills that arrive faithfully are there as a reminder. Debt causes you to worry because it is an actual restraint. It limits your options to move forward in life, or even to solve short-term problems.

This can manifest itself in the form of constant worry, lack of sleep, permanent distraction, and even an inability to perform efficiently at work. The only solution to that problem is to get out of debt. And once you do, it will be something like getting a strike and knocking down all of the bowling pins of worry in life.

Debt is an option killer. The more of it that you have, the fewer options that you have. You can expand your options dramatically simply by getting out of debt. And you can seriously reduce the amount of worry that you live with in the process. If that isn’t a miracle, then I don’t know what is!

Are you motivated to get out of debt?


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Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, He has backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids and can be followed on Twitter at @OutOfYourRut.

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