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Do You Have What It Takes To Be Debt Free And Financially Successful?

Posted March 28th, 2012 in Financial Freedom by Jeremy Waller

No. You probably don’t.

You see there’s a reason that the majority of people are in debt. There’s a reason why the average amount of credit card debt per household is $15,956.

There’s a reason why the average American consumer has a total of 13 credit obligations on record at a credit bureau. These include credit cards (such as department store charge cards, gas cards, and bank cards) and installment loans (auto loans, mortgage loans, student loans, etc.).

Debt is a way of life that most people are accustomed to. It’s driven by a materialistic mindset that has no concept of delayed gratification.

Most people don’t think about how much something costs. They just think about if they can afford the monthly payment.

Delayed gratification is a concept that is lost on most people. Would you be willing to live on nothing for the next two years so that you can live free of financial pressure for the next 30? Well, most people wouldn’t.

The median household income in the U.S. in 2011 was $49,445. That means there are a lot of people living on less than $50k per year.

If your household income is $75k per year, could you find an extra $2,000 per month in your budget? You can’t? Then how does half of the U.S. live on $50k or less per year?

If you could, do you know how drastically different your finances would look 2 years from today?

For the average American, that would pay off all your consumer debt and give you a fully stocked emergency fund.

If you’re already debt free, investing an extra $2,000 per month could go a long way towards building wealth or generating passive income.

If you invested $25,000 per year in a vehicle with a 10% yield – which isn’t terribly difficult to achieve with high yield dividend stocks or real estate investments – and then re-invested the proceeds for 10 years – you would have nearly $400k that throws off $40k per year in passive income. And that’s not even counting any capital gains.

Oh well 10 years is a long time. Is it? Unless you’re in your mid 50s I can almost guarantee you that you’ll be working longer than 10 years.

Someone in their mid-20s, like myself, could retire before they were 50.

All this goes back to delayed gratification.

If you don’t have the discipline to live below your means and delay some of that pleasure, then you can look forward to a life of debt and late retirement (or possibly no retirement.)

It seems completely asinine to spend like there’s no tomorrow when you can achieve financial freedom from just one or two years of sacrifice.

Could you imagine not having to worry if you lost your job? Could you imagine being able to pay for your kids’ college without taking out loans? Could you image being able to travel to all of those places you always wanted to visit? Could you imagine being able to generously give to someone in need?

Many people give all of that up because they aren’t willing to sacrifice in the short term.

Giving up things may not feel good today, but isn’t it worth it for a better tomorrow?

What’s your view on all of this?

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6 Responses so far.

  1. I agree the first important thing is to remove debt. next step is to save for future. Its better to save at earlier age

  2. What a valuable piece of advice. Indeed, discipline is really the key. Simple living doesn’t even require a lot of giving up for some. Thanks for showing a better future outlook.

  3. Jeremy, you make a tough-minded, but fair, case I think. Some folks need help giving their head a shake to see the reality of their financial future.

  4. This is exactly the “punch you in the face” kind of reality check that people need. For those of us who will never be entrepreneurs or self-made millionaires, the only alternative is to get our budgets in order and live below our means. Its simple physics: Out must equal less than In.

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