Monday, September 9, 2013

To Be Debt Free

When you think of The American Dream, what comes to mind? 

It used to be something along the lines of "being a homeowner, having two kids, a pet, two cars, and maybe that white picket fence." The first thing mentioned from that list was "being a homeowner" and that used to be the biggest part of the classic American Dream. That's not the case anymore. Guess what the new American Dream is...To Be Debt Free




That's right - TO BE DEBT FREE. There was a recent poll on credit.com, and the two biggest aspects of The American Dream (above homeowner-ship) are now: Retiring Financially Secure and Being Debt Free, at 27.9% and 23% respectively. Coming in third place was Owning a Home at 18.2%.


source

Let me ask you something. When asked what you would do if you won the lottery, what is your answer? 
I can tell you mine. I've always said "pay off my debts first, then maybe take a nice vacation" (as well as setting some aside for my kids). So I guess even though I didn't participate in the poll, that's been my idea of The American Dream for years - To Be Debt Free.

Of course, debt will always be a part of life. It will always be something that's needed. But wouldn't life be great if it was completely debt-free? Or even close to it? It would surely be a life with less stress. 


Try this budget calculator at MappingYourFuture.org

The first step in an attempt to being debt free - Make a budget and stick to it. Need some help? Here's a great budget calculator to help you get started. I'm taking the challenge. I hope you will too. Because if the New American Dream is TO BE DEBT FREE, I want to achieve that dream.

You can get some money-saving tips and ideas from my Pinterest board for Finances. Don't follow me on Pinterest yet? Follow me HERE. =0)

Happy Monday, everyone!




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30 comments :

Shawna Mayo Barnes said...

Debt free...the oasis that looks real, but can't quite touch it...definitely on mine and the hubby's list for sure! But so is owning a home. :)

Shawna
Jsbarts.blogspot.com

Noor said...

Debt free...it's so appealing title . Personally , I find it SO stressed to be under a debt . KILLING!
Noor @ Noor's Place

Melissa at bubbyandbean.com said...

I believe it! Debt is the worst. I think the American Dream should be to be happy though. Just to be happy. :)

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

This needs to become a priority for me and I am working on it. So difficult and I hate being in debt! Thanks for sharing!

Angela V said...

I love the sound of Debt Free! Thanks for sharing!

Parenting Patch said...

Americans need to learn to stop spending what they cannot afford. Can't afford a mortgage? Then don't buy a house. Can't afford a car payment? Then don't buy a new car. The answer is pretty simple, yet people continue to overspend.

Shannon Hearts said...

What a wonderful post. I aspire to be debt free as well. Being in debt is such a stressful burden.

And, I also wanted to take a quick minute to thank you so much for your thoughtful comment on my latest blog post. It was so uplifting to read your sweet words and to hear your support. Thank YOU!

xo,
Shannon

Rebecca D. Dillon said...

I'm lucky that I currently have no debt. I pay for everything with cash or debit and don't use credit at all. I finished paying off a medical bill recently which has freed up some extra funds for acupuncture treatments. I do have student loans, but my ex pay them per our agreement. I am really hoping to buy a house one day though, so I've started saving for a down payment. With what I pay for rent plus paying all of my utilities it would actually cost me less to buy a home. One day...

Eyelah said...

I would love to be debt free. The goal right now is secure a job that will help me get debt free. I think that is the biggest issue a lot of people are facing right now.

Linda S said...

It's kind of sad to work all your life and then have to worry about being older and having to pay off debt. I guess thats what happens most of the time. Young people should do whatever they can to save money when they are young.

Christie Cottage said...

Chiseling my way towards it....

If I won the lottery I would pay off all my bills, bills for my kids, one sibling a friends and a cousins debt

Dreaming...
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lorenabr said...

I guess it;s a dream for all of us not only an American Dream!
http://balearaitzart.blogspot.com.au/

Miss Val's Creations said...

Things have changed! I find it very painful being at the beginning of a 30 year fixed mortgage where most of that payment goes towards interest and not the principle. That would be my first payout if I hit the lottery! Much of the money would be shared with my parents and siblings so they can all live debt free too. Then I would travel all over Europe!

Memories for Life said...

Living debt-free would be so amazing! I know there will always be those monthly bills (cell phone, power bill, etc)
We are doing very well to work toward this goal. We currently only have our mortgage on top of monthly bills. And I made sure not to start on my new studio until I knew I had the money to pay for it. One step at a time :)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

We are a debt free family. I hope it always stays that way.

Lisa Haley said...

Can't wait to go to Financial Peace Plaza and do my debt-free scream. Thanks for the post and the links.

Additionsstyle said...

I would love to be debt free, that is certainly our goal in life. Thanks for sharing the budget planner, that will come in very handy with the holidays coming.
Valerie
Everyday Inspired

misssrobin said...

Other than a mortgage, we have been debt free. Then we had multiple medical crises. Now we are working on that debt. But debt free is definitely my top financial goal. No question!

Seana Turner said...

Well I couldn't agree with you more. It is a great source of freedom (which, you can tell from my tagline "Freedom Through Organization", I'm a big believer in!). I believe in living debt free as much as possible… great post!! (Stopping in from SITS)

Pary Moppins said...

I'm so happy to see that living debt free is now part of the American Dream. I guess people have realized how much stress it causes and joy it steals. Happy SITS Day!

DomesticFemme said...

I haven't used a credit card in 8 years and have been debt-free for 3. It an amazing feeling and so freeing. Make it a priority and you will make it happen!

Sheila Skillingstead said...

We are debt free but carry our car loans to keep our credit high just in case. We use credit cards but pay them off every month in full. Oops, forgot that hubby still has student loans. So how are we debt free? We own our home, put three daughters through college, paid for three weddings, and owe nothing except two car loans and a student loan. Enjoy your SITS Day.

Marianne said...

It's definitely my dream. I've been working on it and am getting so close! In fact my car will be paid off in 3 months and it still runs awesome (it should, it's only 5 years old!) so that's one less thing.

I am so glad that the mindshift is happening in America about debt. I think that this recession has put things into perspective for a lot of people.

Debt is scary when you're unemployed!

Rabia Lieber said...

We have more debt than we'd like, but most of it was from emergencies and we are working on paying it off. I don't mind owing on the house as long as we are paying off everything else. My plan says that in 5 years the only thing we'll owe on is the house, so I hope we can keep progressing towards that!

Julie Ryan said...

Great post. We are huge Dave Ramsey fans in my household. If you aren't familiar you should definitely check him out. Thanks largely to his principles we are debt free (even the house) as of about 2 months ago.

visiting from SITS

Savvy WorkingGal said...

When I was in my mid-twenties I charged up my credit cards. It took me ten years and several to pay them off. I then paid off my car and started saving money. I now pay cash for everything and am proud to say my husband and I paid off our home last summer. I wouldn't go back to those stressful days of living paycheck to paycheck and juggling those payments for anything.

brokegirlrich said...

Being debt free is a great dream! I don't think debt in an inevitability. Good saving habits and a good emergency fund can get rid of the need for debt. School can be paid for with scholarships, savings and part time jobs. Even homes can be paid off (although I don't really feel a mortgage is in the same category as most debt). Good luck with your budget! You're right that it's one of the first steps you can take for a financially secure future.

brokegirlrich said...

Being debt free is a great dream! I don't think debt in an inevitability. Good saving habits and a good emergency fund can get rid of the need for debt. School can be paid for with scholarships, savings and part time jobs. Even homes can be paid off (although I don't really feel a mortgage is in the same category as most debt). Good luck with your budget! You're right that it's one of the first steps you can take for a financially secure future.

Andrea Millard said...

Wow! I had never thought about this change in "The American Dream", but it makes total sense when you think of it! People nowadays are generally struggling so much that being debt free would be an obvious topper now... Hope you had an awesome SITS Day!

Jean L said...

I agree! Being debt free is a valiant thing to try to accomplish, and in my mind, it's even a moral obligation. Happy SITS day!