I’m appreciating more and more that I can voice my own opinion via my blog, but have learned that on other forums it’s just better to remain silent and smile. Last night was the perfect example.
On a fabulous Facebook page of Dave Ramsey followers, there is this constant disagreement on whether it’s best to use pre-paid phones or pay a monthly fee. Specifically, the comment was, “Trying to understand why people still use major branded cell phone carriers instead of cheaper prepaid services”. Silly me. I thought it was an actual question so offered my expert opinion of why I chose to spend my money on whatever I wanted in the past, regardless of what other people thought. Free will. That doesn’t make it right or wrong, it just means it “is what it is”.
Each time this topic comes up, I voice my honest opinion. “I can purchase whatever phone and service I desire, as long as I budget it in and pay CASH for it. If I choose to pay more for it than someone else is willing to do, so be it. The price of anything (IMHO) is whatever someone is willing to pay for it. I personally think In N Out Cheeseburgers are worth a lot more than what they cost, simply because I LOVE cheeseburgers. A vegetarian would probably disagree, but we both have choices.
When I was in debt, nothing anyone said could stop me from purchasing whatever I wanted. It didn’t matter how much research they completed, how many experts were readily available to tell me why it wasn’t a good idea, how many graphs and charts could be provided to teach me otherwise, and if I didn’t know you, odds are even higher that I wasn’t going to be interested in what you had to say. This is my expert advice, coming from the free spirit that I was (and still am in my heart even though I am debt free).
Someone took offense with my answer, stating “Personal choice is what gets a lot of people into trouble. Some also refer to it as living outside one’s means. I would hope that anyone’s personal choice is to do whatever they can do live as simply and as inexpensively as possible”. That comment was interesting to me, and I also think there is a bounty on my head today from voicing my opinion!
If someone told me my debt free goal HAD TO BE living as simply and inexpensively as possible, I would have never been motivated to start the journey. As a free spirit, I think that train of thought is one of the reasons people are afraid to make a budget and journey down the road to financial freedom. It represents not having any fun and implies you can only purchase things you need, not simply want in the future. Oh, and they also need to be inexpensive because that should be my goal. Things that make you go hmmmmm……
My reality is different. My goal of becoming debt free wasn’t so I could live as inexpensively as possible (although there’s nothing wrong with that!). I googled reasons to get out of debt just to see if living as inexpensively as possible was on one of them, and didn’t find it.
However, these 25 reasons of getting out of debt resonate with me:
- It will free up your household income
- More money to invest in your retirement accounts
- Less stress in your life
- No chance of becoming upside down on a loan
- Greatly reduces the risk in your life
- Helps improve and maintain healthy relationships with your spouse, family, and friends
- It puts you in a better position to give with abundance
- The feeling of owning a car or a house outright is awesome
- You will work harder at your career
- You will be more motivated to make more income
- You won’t feel like you’re running in a hamster wheel.
- It will free up your thoughts
- Improves your credit score, which could lower your insurance premiums
- Improves your credit score, which could help you land your dream job.
- Motivates you to work towards your dream career.
- Improves your marriage.
- Improves your health. Less stress equals a healthier body.
- It will free up more income to help you save for your children’s future
- Allows you to help friends and family get out of debt
- It will free up money to put towards the home improvements you’ve dreamed about
- You’ll be a happier person, and people will like you more.
- You can finally take control of your financial life
- More time and money to devote to your favorite hobby
- Unfortunate events won’t ruin your financial and personal life.
- You can teach your children how to stay debt free
The next time the cellphone topic comes up, I will just keep my opinion to myself. This post doesn’t mean I use credit cards (I don’t and never will again, it’s been eight years now), or will ever lease or finance phones or cars (paid cash for both on my last purchases and will NEVER finance anything again simply because it’s a waste of my hard-earned money). It just means that I’ve learned the difference between want versus need, and now that I am debt free I have the luxury of spending a little more on something I WANT, as long as I pay cash for it. Oh, and when I take my next all cash trip to Maui, I won’t opt for the most inexpensive room I can find. There will be luxury involved, within my budget that I will pay cash for. I’ve earned the right to have some things just because I want as well as have the money for them. I think Dave Ramsey would agree with me!