What Life Looks Like After Becoming Debt-Free!
Author: Anna Newell Jones

life after debt

Most people know what it feels like to live with debt, but for many of us the last time we didn’t have mortgages, credit card balances, and student loans, we were too young to own much more than a bicycle and a pack of gum. As an adult do you know what life would look like without debt? Is that even something you consider as a possibility in your life?

I’ll get to it quick- life without debt is amazing! The best news? You can experience it too!

What Life Looks Like After Becoming Debt-Free…

You Get to Relax

Since you’re debt-free, you don’t need to worry about collection agencies calling you at all hours of the day and night. You don’t even have to feel that clenching anxiety as you open your credit card statement. Instead, you get to relax knowing that you don’t owe anyone anything.

You Get to Keep More of Your Money

Having debt means paying interest. Unfortunately, that means you get to use less of the money that you earn. When you live debt-free, you don’t have to give your money to banks and credit card companies. Suddenly, your salary is worth a lot more. You can start saving for fun vacations, new cars, and other items that you never thought you could afford. Without debt you need a lot less money to live on.

What’s Yours is Yours

When you buy things on credit, you don’t really own those things. Think of all the people who have lost their homes in recent years because they couldn’t keep up with mortgage payments. The families never owned the homes. The banks did. When you live debt-free, though, your things are really yours.

You’re Autonomous

How many times have you made a decision to do, or not do something based on the debts you have? When you’re debt-free you can be autonomous. You can live an independent life- one that reflects what’s really important to you!

You’re Happier

When we imagine life without debt it always seems happier and more carefree, and there’s a reason why, because it’s true! When you don’t have the weight of debt hanging over you you get to breathe easier and dream a little.

You Get to say, “I’m Debt-Free!”

You set a goal, you accomplished it, and you get to be proud of that!

For many people, living debt-free sounds like an unreachable fantasy (it did for me). However, with the right approach, committment, and a willingness to stick with the getting-out-of-debt process even when things gets tough you will be able to eliminate debt to live freely!


What will life look like for you when you are debt-free?

image wacky stuff


in Motivation, Paying Off Debt, Student Loans


  1. Vicki // January 25, 2013

    Hi Anna
    Thank you for this post. It really got me thinking, I am down to have 3 “debts” to pay off and two of them are student loans (the last one is a pesky medical bill.) It feels really good to know that more of my paycheck belongs to me. I guess on some level I always felt that I would always be in debt because those are the patterns I have seen growing up. One of my parents is still in debt and struggling with it. I have been working really hard and your site has been such an inspiration to keep going! Thank you!

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 28, 2013

      I’m so glad the site has been helpful to you! Isn’t it wild how accustomed we get to just living with debt as a normal byproduct of life? I’m so proud of you for deciding to stop the cycle of debt in your life and for deciding to live a new way!

  2. K.K. // January 25, 2013

    I can agree with everything you mentioned in your post. My life is devoid of stress when I made my last debt payment in Dec 2012. I am now able to pursue my goals and projects at full throttle. It really feels wonderful to be debt free because I know how much I sacrificed in order to make it happen. You’re doing amazing things via your site and it’s appreciated!

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 28, 2013

      Thanks for saying that, and I’m so happy to hear that you’re debt-free! Gosh, it’s an amazing feeling especially knowing how hard it was to do and actually doing it. I agree with you, completely worth the tough parts and sacrifices.

  3. Nicole @ Treasure Tr // January 25, 2013

    oh, I can’t wait to achieve all of this!

  4. chelsea // January 25, 2013

    This post is perfectly timed. I have been debating paying for an educational workshop with my nearly completely paid off credit card or waiting a few more months and paying for it with cash. It has renewed my resolve and priorities.

  5. starjaynas // January 25, 2013

    When I do the math and realize how much each month is going out to credit cards, my car, and student loans, I gag a little. Then I day dream of what a kick-butt vacation I could take with that money after just a few months of savings. When I’m debt-free I’m soooooo travelling (after appropriate saving, of course!).

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 28, 2013

      I can totally relate to the gag reflex! hah! that’s a funny way to put it! Yeah, you’re gonna do it! A future debt-free dream vacation awaits you!

    • justin // January 26, 2016

      or you could just take that trip now on credit :D

  6. Betsy P // January 25, 2013

    Thank you for this post. It helps us to remember what the ultimate goal is: Debt-free living! One day, one buck at a time!

  7. Budget and the Beach // January 26, 2013

    I will be happy to be putting that money towards retirement and/or my emergency savings. Putting my money in the right direction. And less stress of debt hanging over my head.

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 28, 2013

      Yes! Your money is put to much better use after you become debt-free! No more paying interest on crap you already forgot about!

  8. Ruggles // January 27, 2013

    I already feel a difference with paying down the debt. These articles are so helpful!

  9. Jane Savers @ The Mo // January 27, 2013

    I am pretty happy but I would worry a lot less if I did not have to make my monthly debt payments.

    I only have myself to rely on and I worry about not being able to make debt payments if I am ill or have my hours cut.

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 28, 2013

      Get that debt knocked out and it’ll change your life! It’s amazing how much LESS money you need to actually survive when debt isn’t in the picture any longer.

  10. Big Joe // January 28, 2013

    We haven’t used credit cards in over 3 years, and were able to pay off our credit card debt about 2 years ago (about $45,000). We put everything we could into paying off the cards. Now we are a month away from not having a car payment. That just leaves the mortgages. We’re hoping to get our emergency fund shored up and then tackle the 2nd mortgage.

    The relief we have at not having credit card bills is intense. I’m imagining what no car payment will be like, and if we can get our home paid off in the next 10 years, we’ll be thrilled!

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 28, 2013

      You’re so awesome!! Great job! Yeah, isn’t it amazing how wonderful it feels to not have that credit card debt!!? So amazing!

    • April // January 31, 2013

      Hi, just want to encourage you to keep going!! We are almost finished paying off our mortgage! Have about $5k left. It’s pretty freaking incredible.

      Anna- I have a thought, question…
      What are your thoughts about staying humble about your debt free-ness? I mean… hard work brings humility, and it has been very hard, this whole journey for us… but I have this fear that in the end I am going to forget how hard it was and brag to my friends about having no payments at all. I hate that thought…

      What would you think about posting “We paid off our mortgage today!!!” as a facebook status? Would that be too risky, because it could be taken the wrong way… instead of celebrating and being proud of you, all 500 friends may say shut up… stop bragging!!! What do you think? We are really close, and I wonder if I should tell people, or only a few close friends.

      This may be an odd concern… I just don’t ever want to brag about something that was so difficult!! I want to share tips like you do with my friends and first and foremost say that it was a ton of hard work but so worth it.


      • April // January 31, 2013

        oh, I was refering to Big Joe – when I said I want to encourage you to keep going!! Sounds like you’re doing great.

      • Anna Newell Jones // February 2, 2013

        Hi April,

        Your quesiton is one that I haven’t heard before and it’s an interesting one! I’ve actually wondered this myself. I think there’s a way to say you paid off your debt without it sounding like you’re bragging or shoving it in people’s faces.

        You could post it on Facebook as, “After A TON of hard-work and sacrifices we are were able to pay off our mortgage today!!” I’m guess that more people will be happy for you than not (at least that’s been my experience). Then they will probably want to know how you did what you did! :)

        Really, I think you should be proud of the accomplishment when you get there and if people are weird about it that’s their problem.

        Keep me posted on your progress! I for one CANNOT WAIT to hear about you paying off debt so “brag” to me any time!! xo! :D

  11. Karen Peterson // January 28, 2013

    I look forward to the day I can get a call from an unknown number without immediately wanting to send it to voice mail out of fear for who is looking for more money from me.

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 28, 2013

      it’ll happen. stay committed to paying off the debt and before you know it you’ll be there!

  12. TheBantuGirl // January 28, 2013

    I can’t wait to get there :)

  13. Minelly // January 29, 2013

    Hi, this is the first time that I write in your blog. I discover this blog a few months ago and it’s been so encouraging. I’m not doing a spending fast, but I manage to pay off one credit card in four months and I have another one that hopefully will be paid in three. My husband and I have been on cash basis from the day we got married on January 2011 and after this credit card we will only have our mortgage. This is so amazing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!
    Hello from Puerto Rico!!!

  14. Nici // January 29, 2013

    I am loving this site Anna, and I have set my goal to be debt free by the end of the year, something I thought was unachieveable. I have what I call ‘angry debt’ which makes paying it off even harder. My husband took his own life last year without a will or life insurance and even after selling everything we owned he left me with $10k of debt. I am finding positivity in your site and keeping my eyes on the prize of being debt free and being able to let go of all the anger that goes with it. I’m looking forward to that sense off freedom!! Thank you!

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 30, 2013

      “Angry debt” = love it. Pay that sh*t off! That’s right!! :)

  15. Sarah // January 30, 2013

    Oh I cannot wait until I can say I am debt free. I feel like this is my year, I can taste it!

  16. Kimmy @ AfterGlobe // March 31, 2013

    I can’t wait until my husband and I are able to say we are debt free. We just started in January and have a ways to go, but are determined to get there. 3 debts already paid off in full!

  17. Sarita // September 15, 2013

    I can’t wait! Good things are right around the corner!

  18. Nic // June 11, 2014

    Great article. I made my last debt payment last Friday. I paid off $77,000 worth of debt in 4 years and 2 months. I did this all by myself working three jobs.It wasn’t easy working 7 days a week but the sacrafice was well worth it. I can’t describe how wonderful it feels to be debt free. Becoming debt free is the most wonderful gift you could give yourself. If you are on a journey to become debt free DON’T GIVE UP! The end result is AMAZING!!!!

    • Anna Newell Jones // June 12, 2014

      !!!!!!! Congratulations!!!! I’m so, SO happy for you!!!! What an amazing accomplishment!!

      • Nic // June 12, 2014

        Thank you Ana. Keep up the great work with your blog.

  19. Val // August 11, 2014

    I love your website! I`ve decided to stop dying my hair and cancel my data plan on my phone to save more money! I want to save for a sabbatical trip around the world and your website makes me believe it`s possible! I`m actually excited about the challenge!

  20. Larissa // March 21, 2015

    I can’t wait to be debt-free one day! Sometimes (even though I know it’s ‘good’ debt in the grand scheme of things) I get completely freaked out by the amount still left owing on my mortgage. And it wasn’t even an expensive place by Australian standards!

    However I’m trying to bring it down, bit by bit by bit. I guess that’s the only way you can approach it. I guess those little savings all add up! I can smell freedom – even if it’s still years away :)

  21. manish hingar // November 24, 2015

    Once you’ve paid off your debts, you’ve got to start making your money work for you (no longer someone else)! I love this quote:

    “Here’s how I think of my money – as soldiers – I send them out to war
    every day. I want them to take prisoners and come home, so there’s more
    of them.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] You must drop what you are doing and check out this post, What Life Looks Like After Becoming Debt Free. […]

  2. By How to Get Out of Debt on February 10, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    […] “Having debt means paying interest. Unfortunately, that means you get to use less of the money that you earn.” –Anna Newell Jones, AndThenWeSaved […]

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  • Anna

    Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Also! We're building a Tiny House and we're going to be on Tiny House Nation. Follow along!!

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