A lot of people in this world share the dream of being able to live a debt-free existence. If you want to live debt-free, you’ll have to develop some of the traits that debt-free people have. Below, you’ll find a list of some of these traits that you should try to develop.
#1. They Pay Attention to Their Statement
Every single month you receive statements for all of your financial accounts, whether they are e-statements or paper statements. Debt-free people pay attention to their statements every single month and know where their money is going. A lot of people pay recurring fees for stuff they don’t use anymore and have completely forgotten about. A debt-free person would catch those recurring bills and cancel memberships that they are no longer using.
#2. They Spend Less Than They Make
Going in debt means that you spend more money than you make. Obviously, debt-free people don’t have this problem. Usually, debt-free people immediately set money aside as soon as they get their paycheck and they save it. They budget themselves on what’s left over. A debt-free person will sometimes even set aside as much as 15%, 30% or even 50% of their total income for that month and live off of what’s left over.
#3. They Are Not Impulse Shoppers
It’s really tempting to get the hottest new pair of shoes or purse on the market, but do you really need it? Debt-free people aren’t impulse shoppers and they will wait for the prices to go down on items or they’ll save up, so they can pay cash for whatever they want and they make sure they can do it while staying within their budget.
#4. Debt-Free People Certainly Aren’t Shy
Debt-free people aren’t shy when it comes to asking for a break when it comes to their finances. For instance, have you ever been late on a payment and gotten a late fee? Debt-free people will ask for the fee to be waived if at all possible. They also aren’t afraid to ask for lower interest rates, haggle on vehicle and housing prices, etc… It never hurts to ask and you’ll be amazed at how often the outcome will be in your favor.
#5. They make it a Habit to Save Money
You know when you get a birthday card and there’s some cash inside of it? That’s a pretty good feeling and it’s extra money you weren’t counting on. A debt-free person would take that extra cash and put it in their saving account, instead of blowing it. Also, debt-free people will sometimes even set up a portion of their paycheck to automatically be deposited into their savings account. Even if you add small amount here and there, you can save some serious cash over time.
#6. They Stay Motivated With Goals
It’s easier to save money when there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and debt-free people know this and always look towards that light. Save money and think about where that money will go once you hit a certain mark. Are you saving money for a vacation, a new pair of shoes or maybe even retirement? Always keep that in mind when saving money and you’ll be much more motivated and it will help you stay on track.
#7. They Use Cash
A lot of debt-free people would rather use cash than a debit card or credit card. By spending cash, you can actually see the transaction of money taking place. When the cash has left your hand, you don’t have it in your possession anymore and it’s gone for good. Therefore, it’s advisable that you stick to cash for a while and ax the cards. Chances are you’ll notice some differences in your spending habits.
#8. They Educate Themselves
Debt-free people will conduct their own research on subjects and they always pay close attention to their finances. For instance, they may have an accountant, but they look over their taxes, as well. Also, they never sign anything without looking over all the terms, hidden fees, etc… If you want control over your own finances, you have to do your own research. Also, don’t be afraid to look over your credit score (you get one free credit score check annually) and find out what is affecting your score negatively.
#9. Debt-free People Aren’t Afraid to Say No
Sure, it can be very tempting to go out for lunch with your co-workers, but it can be costly, as well. It can be tempting to go out with friends on a Friday night and enjoy a few drinks. However, debt-free people aren’t afraid to opt-out of these opportunities. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. Instead of going out every single Friday night for some drinks, you could limit it to a once-a-month kind of thing.