What Life Looks Like After Becoming Debt-Free!

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

P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!


52 thoughts on “What Life Looks Like After Becoming Debt-Free!

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  1. Vicki

    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!

    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      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.

    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!

    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      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. chelsea

    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.

  4. starjaynas

    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!).

  5. Betsy P

    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!

  6. Jane Savers @ The Mo

    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.

  7. Big Joe

    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!

    1. April

      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.


      1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

        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

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  9. Minelly

    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!!!

  10. Nici

    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!

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  12. Nic

    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!!!!

  13. Val

    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!

  14. Larissa

    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 :)

  15. manish hingar

    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.

  16. Lisa

    Unfortunately I maxed out a second trust of $120,000 twice on top of credit cards to the hills. One day I woke up and said “enough is enough” and two plus years later, I have made it half way through. It has been very hard!! The best thing I ever did was close the HELOC loan so I know with every dollar paid it is not coming back. Debt has nearly ruined my life, my health, my peace of mind. I just love dreaming of the day I am free: Debt-Free and holding on to that lifestyle. In this very long journey I have learned to curb my impulse buying, make do with what I have, and patience. These are all things I needed to learn. I also have learned to stick to it and I have a deeper trust in myself. I firmly believe tackling debt head on was so much more valuable to me than bankruptcy or simply running away. The only way for me was through it and I feel I am on the down part of the hill.

  17. Estelle Silvernail

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  18. Peter Borejzka

    I am debt free I have equity in my home that is worth almost 1/2 million, I drive a 60K BMW that was paid with cash and I have no debtors and yet yesterday I checked my credit score and it is poor and when I had one debt 7 months ago it was at 807 very good, so what happened ? My 1 credit card gets paid off as soon as I come home from shopping. My bills are all paid on time and actually before dead line date. I am stumped with this whole credit score

    1. dave

      iam in a similar position as you are but just like you my credit score is crap thats because we tend to pay cash and we really dont have much of a credit history if any but honestly i couldn’t care less i wouldn’t worry about it they can stick there credit cards and interest .being debt free allows a certain amount of freedom to say no and you start to live life on your own terms

      1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

        I have to disagree with you there, Marshal. A credit score can (and will) affect everything in your life. Especially if you ever want to get a new job since employers are now looking at credit scores. If you have a crappy credit score you’re going to be swimming up stream as you pay WAY MORE on a house, car, etc. because of a bad interest rate. Yeah… they definitely go hand-in-hand.

  19. CHAS

    Own the bed you sleep in , Own the ceiling you look up at when you are in the bed,,Own the vehicle you drive,,Debt free is Yipeee,,,When you are in debt , You are owned by the Mr debt provider,,, Never let anyone or anything Own you,,, You Own You

  20. pannolini

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i like reading
    your articles. Keep up the great work! You recognize, lots of individuals are hunting round for this information, you can help them greatly.


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