The Hidden Costs of a Debt-Free Lifestyle

February 14, 2017

The Hidden Costs of a Debt-Free Lifestyle

Living a debt-free lifestyle after years of being saddled with debt can bring a sense of freedom that is almost indescribable. You suddenly have choices and the room to make decisions that you did not have before.

Getting to that place of freedom is not easy. It comes with a cost. The road to becoming debt-free is paved with sacrifice, hard work, and a lot of saying “no.” (And hopefully, no regrets.) Once you reach the goal of debt-freedom, though, there are new costs you may pay as you begin to enjoy your debt-free lifestyle.

What?? After clawing my way out of debt, I‘m still paying? Well, yes in a way. Along with the freedom and choice that a debt-free lifestyle brings, come some things you may not have expected. Here are a few hidden costs of a debt-free lifestyle.


If you are determined to remain debt-free, then that means you have to operate within the boundaries of living within your means. While the word “yes” has been introduced back into your vocabulary after reaching your goal of becoming debt-free, the word “no” still has to be employed when necessary.

As a result, you may develop the “Fear of Missing Out.” You are navigating your new debt-free lifestyle while everyone around you is continuing to live their current lifestyle. You have to pass on some opportunities that don’t line up with your current goals, but at times, you wish you could embrace those opportunities.

Combat FOMO by reminding yourself of why you chose to become debt-free in the first place. Think back to what accompanied your “debt-filled” lifestyle: overwhelm, stress, and worry. See? You’re not missing out on anything!

No More Impulsive Decision-Making

You used to make decisions without thinking too hard about them — going on vacations you couldn’t afford; buying big-ticket items you didn’t need, and embracing wants that were deceptively disguised as needs.

Living a debt-free lifestyle does limit your ability to make impulsive decisions — at least the irresponsible kind. But, it was that impulsive decision-making that led to your debt anyway, so put it behind you and move forward.

As you progress in your debt-free lifestyle and build wealth, there will come a time when you can throw caution to the wind and be impulsive like you used to be — without the negative repercussions.

Being Seen as Different

Our culture does not agree with your choice to be debt-free. Everywhere you turn — from your friends, family, and co-workers to advertisements that bombard you daily, you will be encouraged to turn away from your debt-free lifestyle.

We tend to want people to be just like us, so your debt-free ways may make those around you feel a little uncomfortable about their own choices. Naturally, they may begin to see you as different — or weird even — which might lead them to criticize your choices.

Be firm in your decision to live a debt-free lifestyle, and respect the choices of those in your circles. Represent debt-free in a positive way, and you just might win them over!

Are The Costs of a Debt-Free Lifestyle Worth It?

Taking these costs into consideration, most people (myself included), would say what you pay to become and remain debt-free is completely worth it.

The costs we pay while we’re in debt have a far greater negative impact than any of the costs associated with a debt-free lifestyle.

I’ve lived the majority of my adult life under the crushing weight of debt and cannot imagine going back. While there are moments when I yearn some aspects of my “debt-filled life,” I don’t envy the debt-saddled me. I know that choosing to be debt-free has brought and will continue to bring so much more than what it cost to get there.

How about you? Are you debt-free or on your way there? What are some other costs of a debt-free lifestyle?


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