Being Debt Free For The First Time In My Adult Life
Always Been In Debt:
So this post is probably a little more personal and less about creativity than most but still feels like something I should write. Because for the first time in my adult life, I’m debt free.
And this is a big deal for me.
I’ve not had crippling debt or anything for a little while.
But what I’ve had has stopped me doing plenty of things.
The biggest being travelling.
But practically every aspect of my life has been affected in some way or another by it.
And now for the first time all of them concerns are gone.
Have to say it’s liberating.
Hasn’t really fully settled into my mind-set yet. But it’s there.
I can already see the benefits.
History Of The Debt:
I’m not going to go into the specifics of how much and things like that. But will tell a little of how it came about and why.
Basically the debt really started when I left my job managing a video store. I owed a little before that but was very manageable. I could almost clear it any time I wanted.
Just didn’t. Didn’t need to.
But after walking away from my job I didn’t get another for a little while and lived off my credit card.
Seems like a dumb thing to do. Even typing it feels dumb.
But I had just had enough of this job. Had to leave before it drove me crazy, and wasn’t ready to jump straight into something new.
So I enjoyed myself for a while thinking I’ll get another managers job when I’m ready.
Didn’t work out like that.
A recession happened.
Jobs became sparse and I ended up working part-time.
During this period the debt grew as the interest on the card kicked in and eventually I was able to secure a loan that took a massive amount of pressure off.
But the debt remained the same as I was still only ever paying off minimum payments even when I got back to being a manager again.
This lasted for about eight years.
During that time travel dried up, I wasn’t able to live the life I wanted and it generally affected a few things.
The debt started by me wanting some more freedom.
And ended up taking all my freedom away.
I haven’t regrets as I had some amazing experiences still. But yeah, not ideal, would much have preferred to remain debt free. Wasn’t close.
So after things in my person life changed I found myself not going out much, or doing much of anything for that matter other than writing.
And writing cost very little.
So I started saving to travel.
But when that got delayed I found myself in an odd position of having enough saved to make a big dent in my debt.
And with a few more months on top of that clear it.
I knew I’d never have another chance in my life to do this. That’s not how life works.
So I sacrificed immediate travel for the possibility of giving myself more opportunities in the future.
For just under a year I basically had no social life.
Worked every spare hour I could.
And cleared every single penny of debt. Loan and Credit card. All gone.
And as of now, I’m debt free for the first time in my adult life.
The Opportunities That Come With Being Debt Free:
The immediate effect is knowing what I earn at this point is my money. Not anyone else that I have to give back.
This means that I can save for me.
I can book holidays and travels for me.
It is just a completely different mindset.
I haven’t given myself anymore money to live on day-to-day. Instead I’m using the money that used to go towards my loan and cards to experience life more.
After I go on my first holiday I will know that year of staying indoors would have been worth it.
Maybe the bigger effect is the risks I now feel I can take.
I’m looking into the idea of starting my own business and feel for the first time I can do this.
I’ll still have a side job for the time being because I don’t want to be stupid and get myself back into debt, but this is something that simply couldn’t have happened in the past.
This combined with travelling just puts a smile on my face.
I feel less bound to anything as well which is helping with my creativity.
Stresses are gone. I can focus more.
Everything seems possible and that’s the big thing being debt free brings.
Just more freedom.
I’ve even got myself a pre loaded credit card with Monzo so that when I need to use a credit card in the future its my own money with all the upsides of a credit card. Highly recommend it for anyone who can.
Making Sure It Doesn’t Happen Again:
I’ve promised myself that I won’t get into debt again.
I know how hard it’s been to clear.
How stuck many people are in life because of debt.
I accidentally gave myself an opportunity to clear it and gave myself many possibilities in the future to do what I want.
Don’t want to lose that.
I think the reason I felt I had to blog about it was just to say that from a creative level the freedom it will bring allows me to get on with my art a lot more and be more ambitious with it.
It doesn’t have to just be a hobby.
Can be a lot more.
That’s not to say plenty haven’t made it work with debt. I’m sure most have. But I don’t think that was going to be the case with me. My ambitions required me to be debt free.
So now I don’t have any excuses.
Is fully up to me to achieve my dreams now.
And I like it that way.
Can’t say I’ve taken advantage yet, but its early days and the important thing is that I know some time really soon, I will.
August 29, 2017
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