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Reasons to be Debt Free: More than Money

Paying off debt

Why do you want to get out of debt? While many reasons to be debt free focus on improving your financial situation, there is more to paying off debt than creating a brighter financial future for yourself and your family. Being able to save up for goals such as a house, retirement or even a nice vacation are all great reasons to get out of debt. But, you can look beyond the piggy bank and into your personal life to find a few more reasons to be debt free.

You’ll Have More Freedom

Perhaps one of the more immediate benefits of paying off your debt is that you’ll experience more freedom, both financially and in the rest of your life. Your decisions will no longer guided by whether a plan interferes with your debt repayments or not. When you are debt free, you might be better able to choose the course your life takes. For example, you’ll have the freedom to decide to go back to school, to pursue a hobby more seriously, or even to change careers by taking a lower paying job that you find more fulfilling.

It Can Reduce Stress

Having debt can lead to higher stress levels, which can have an impact on your overall health. A few studies and surveys have suggested that high levels of debt were directly connected to people having high levels of stress and to people being at an increased risk for a number of health issues, such as being overweight, binge drinking, and other high-risk behaviors. One study, published in 2008 in the American Journal of Health Promotion, looked at graduate and undergraduate students at a major university. Students with credit card debt above $1,000 were more likely to participate in a number of behaviors that negatively impact health, including drinking and drug use, lack of physical activity and poor dietary habits.

In 2014, US News and World Report noted the results of a Gallup poll that surveyed nearly 30,000 college graduates between 1990 and 2014. Less than a quarter of graduates who had debt above $50,000 reported being in good health, while 34 percent of people without any student debt reported being healthy.

You Can Strengthen Your Relationships

Paying off your debts can also improve your relationship with members of your family, from your spouse or partner to your children. It can be a lot easier to teach your children to handle money and to both make and stick with a budget when you have your own finances under control. Getting out of debt lets you be a good money role model to your kids.

Whether the debt was yours alone or jointly shared by your and your partner, paying it off can reduce arguments between the two of you. It also helps you learn to work together, as a team, to come up with a plan for paying off any loans you have. Once the debt is gone, you can work together to plan the rest of your lives together, whether that means making plans to purchase a home or to save for retirement together.

Getting out of debt can be the first step you take to a new and fulfilling life. If you need assistance creating a plan to pay off your debt or putting your finances in order, the counselors at CESI can help. Call us today and get on the road to a debt free life.

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