It’s highly unlikely you’ll find anyone commenting that being in debt is fun.
For most of us, it’s seems like a never-ending uphill battle. We’re fighting for our lives. Our values. Our future.
It’s a huge challenge, especially when you’re facing six-figures of debt, and trying to balance paying for the necessities in life.
However, there are always lessons to be learned from difficult challenges, and debt is no different.
That’s why it’s important to highlight the good financial habits that can be formed from having debt.
Plus, it’s always nice to put a positive spin on debt when possible, right?
You Become More Diligent About Where Your Money is Going
When you’re paying off debt, the one thing you should be focused on is continuing to live within your means. That can require getting serious about budgeting and tracking your expenses.
If you’ve been guilty of neglecting your bank account balance, this will be a good change for you. Say goodbye to those pesky overdraft and NSF fees because you need to know exactly how much you can afford to spend at any given time.
It’s important to routinely check your bank account to make sure there’s no incorrect charges or signs of fraud.
Knowing where your money is going is crucial to financial success, whether it’s paying off debt, or being able to work toward early retirement. You have to become aware of your spending habits and any budget leaks you may have.
You Focus More on Meaningful Spending
Being in debt might leave you feeling as though your options are limited when it comes to money. You want to put whatever extra you can manage toward debt, which doesn’t leave you with much, if anything, left over.
As a result, it’s wise to be careful when making purchases. Becoming an expert at delayed gratification, or focusing on value-based spending, will get you on the right track.
Getting serious about paying off debt also makes it clear that spending responsibly makes the most of the money you do have. It becomes much easier to prioritize what’s important when you’re on a limited budget.
Cutting out expenses that aren’t important is a good thing to do no matter what your financial situation is. Having your priorities straight will make it easier to spend your money in a meaningful way, and you’ll also be more aware of when your priorities change.
You Become a Savvy Shopper
Have you ever tossed things you thought you needed into your cart at the store, regardless of price?
Chances are, paying off debt has taught you that being an informed shopper is the way to go.
Shopping clearance sales, using a promo code, or earning cash back is a great feeling to have, right? It’s better than looking back at your receipts and wondering where the heck your money went, that’s for sure.
There are tons of ways to save when shopping these days, whether it’s getting a price match, waiting for a price to drop, or knowing when to shop for certain items. Paying less means more money going toward your financial goals.
Paying Off Debt Can Make Saving Easier
It stands to reason you can carry over the good financial habits you learn from paying off debt and apply them to the art of saving as well.
For most people, paying off debt requires focus and discipline. You know you want to be debt free, so you focus on that goal and base many of your financial decisions around it.
You can do the same when you develop savings goals (if you haven’t already). Saving requires just as much discipline and focus, if not more.
Some people actually have difficulty saving once they’re done paying off debt, as being debt free is more exciting to work toward. Seeing your debt balances decrease is pretty fun, right? Watching your bank account increase may test your patience a bit more, especially when there are so many spending temptations around.
Do you think saving would be easier if you could save when shopping for things you need?
I’m not talking about “saving” by getting a percentage off full-price for an item. I’m talking about actually getting what you saved deposited into your bank account, and then having the option to invest it according to your savings goals.
We Learn to Be Grateful for What We Have
This isn’t necessarily a financial habit, but it’s a good habit to have nonetheless.
When you’re in debt, it can help to be grateful for what you have, instead of thinking about all the things you can’t afford to buy.
Focusing on the good in life gives us more control over our general attitude, which helps us remain hopeful and steadfast in our journey to pay off debt.
You’ll realize it’s foolish to try and keep up with the Joneses, and hopefully care less about what everyone else is spending their money on. Knowing there’s more to life than possessions and status will help keep jealousy at bay when you’re in debt, and it goes hand-in-hand with meaningful spending.
Being in debt is gut wrenching and difficult, but it’s important to focus on the good that can come of it. Debt has taught us many valuable lessons we otherwise wouldn’t have learned, and the good financial habits we’ve formed will continue to serve us well even after we’ve dug our way out.
What important lessons has debt taught you? Have you developed other good financial habits from being in debt?
Erin is the Community & Brand Manager for Wherewithal, a company dedicated to helping you save money effortlessly. Shop, save, and invest all in one place, and reach your financial goals with ease.