The following post is from Christina of Northern Cheapskate:
About 10 years ago, my husband and I took a whole new approach to our finances. We were sick of living paycheck to paycheck. Our goal was to pay off all of our debt (except the mortgage) and to build our dream home in the country. It was a significant turning point in our marriage.
It took us a few years, but we finally made our dream our reality. And along the way, we learned that being debt-free had more advantages than we realized.
It’s not just our savings that have grown. Our earning potential has grown, too.
Financial freedom creates confidence.
Paying off debt is no simple task. It takes a lot of creativity, dedication, and energy. These are skills that lend themselves well to any career.
When you pay off your debts, something happens deep inside you. You are no longer a slave to the lender. You get to decide what to do with your money. You gain confidence that others (including your boss) can see.
Confidence breeds courage.
When you’re not worrying about money every waking moment, your mind is free to think about other things. When you have no debt and money in the bank, you’re willing to take more calculated risks, to explore new ideas, and to consider major decisions carefully. Good money-management skills can ease much of the stress in your life and give you the courage to step outside your comfort zone.
Courage gives you choices.
You have so many more career options to choose from when you aren’t bound by your bills.
Shortly after we’d paid off our debt, my husband came to the realization that he was miserable at his job and wanted to go back to graduate school. But he didn’t want to go back into debt. He applied his money-management skills to his hunt for schooling and was able to find a graduate assistantship that covered his tuition and provided health insurance. We were able to afford the 150-mile daily commute because we’d learned how to budget and save our pennies. He earned his degree and found a new career path that paid twice what his old job did with better hours and better benefits.
If we had still been slogging through our student and car loans, he would not have been able to seize that opportunity. If we had not managed our money well, I would not have been able to become a stay-at-home mom when our twins were born.
Manage your money well, and it will open doors for you. Whether you want to move up the ladder or start your own business, the skills you develop as you pay down debt and build your savings will give you the confidence, courage, and freedom to reach your goals.
If money were no object, what career would you want?
|Christina Brown is the creator of Northern Cheapskate, a blog dedicated to frugal living through coupons, freebies, and money-saving ideas. She lives in the rural north woods of Minnesota where she clips coupons, pinches pennies, and chases her three boys (a 6-year-old and twin 4-year olds) as a stay-at-home mom.