People tell you it’s not, you can’t, it’s too impractical, you need the credit score, you need the life experience, you need a credit card for the miles.
I mean you can, sure, have any of those things. That’s fine. You can do the credit score, mortgage, mileage build up on the credit card.
But I never wanted those. I really wanted to stay out of debt and especially in high-school I heard from a lot of people “it’s just not possible”. Even from people that were trying to offer good advice. I remember hearing…
“It’s fine to stay out of debt now but you’ll never be able to when you’re on your own”
“Everyone I ever knew who tried to stay “debt-free” just became greedy.”
“I knew someone who saved and saved to build a house with cash and never even finished it.”
They were trying to help but really it was a lot of “your dream’s going to die”.
So, if this is you, you want to be debt free, I just want to be the guy who says, you can!
Here’s a list of three things that my wife and I did to make sure we stayed debt free.
- Have a plan. Do a monthly budget.
If you want to stay debt free then you have to do it on purpose. It doesn’t happen on accident. We started out by saying we wanted to buy a house with cash so we talked through how long we wanted to save and then each month did a budget and stuck to it. (Some months were harder than others and we were and are far from perfect at it)
- Say no.
We had to say no to a lot of things. Say no to credit cards. Say no to eating out. Say no to getting a new car. For us we just knew that we had to say no to a lot of things we’d like to say yes to because we wanted to say yes to getting that house. We also had to say no to pride. We had so many generous people that offered to help us with things. From small things like a meal out to eat, a hand me down couch, and in one instance even a car!
- Be generous.
Through all four years of our saving for our house, Sarah and I never stopped giving 10% to the church. We also had another percentage that we agreed on to give as an offering. These guardrails and a few others helped us stay generous. We wanted to be debt free but the reason is because we knew it would allow us to do more good. If that is your motivation saving and generosity can and must start together.
I hope you are encouraged by this. If debt free living is not your dream I don’t want you to feel guilty. But if it is your dream and you feel like it’s impractical, be encouraged. It’s not easy but it IS possible.