Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Debt Free vs Debt Free Lifestyle

Debt FreeWhat's the difference between being debt free and living a debt free lifestyle?

Recently I was reading on Tabitha Fletcher's Blog about the difference between being debt free and living a debt free lifestyle.

Debt free is essentially a moment in time, right after you have paid off your last debt. This is when you feel freedom and you can spend your money how you want because it is no longer owed to any creditors.

Tabitha tells us that everyone has been debt free at some point, for lots of us that are working to get out of debt this moment happened during our childhood and we don't really know or remember feeling free since we hadn't yet experienced life with debt. There are also those who pass in and out of debt freedom constantly racking up debt and then paying it off in a continuous cycle.

Debt free is something I'm working toward, but it will be a few years before I reach this point of total freedom. (Not including my mortgage because then it'd be even more than a few years.)

The debt free lifestyle however is something you can attain before being debt free. It is a lifestyle choice rather than a destination.

If you are trying to pay off your debts, and remain debt free, you are probably one who chose to live the debt free lifestyle. Essentially, this is living frugally.

It may not always be the most comfortable and people may not understand your frugal choices, but in my opinion, it is worth it in the end when you don't have to borrow money to pay for your lifestyle.

To me, someone can be living the debt free lifestyle and still obtain debt for large purchases (a mortgage, a NECESSARY student loan, etc) as long as they are still living frugally and not taking on debt due to lifestyle inflation.

What do you think, are you debt free or are you living the debt free lifestyle?

Note: I've told one person IRL about my blog and what it's about. I didn't go into full details of how much debt I'm in, but I told my brother about starting the blog to pay off debt and de-clutter my life. He was very receptive to the idea and told me about some of his ventures to make money online too.

Another note: If you are interested in guest-posting at Shoeaholicnomore, email me at shoeaholicnomore[at]gmail[dot]com!


At April 29, 2014 at 11:54 AM , Anonymous E.M. said...

I think I live a pretty debt free lifestyle. I only have my student loan debt; I've never been in consumer debt. I try to be mindful with my purchases. I'm living my life with the intention of avoiding debt as much as possible.

That's really great that you told your brother about your blog! I don't think anyone I know in real life has tried to make money online, besides my dad - he used to design websites.

At April 29, 2014 at 12:30 PM , Anonymous KK @ Student Debt Survivor said...

We have debt (mortgage debt) so, I'd say we're living a debt free lifestyle. I think mortgage debt is so "normal" these days nobody even thinks of it as being debt, it's just a cost of living. I can convince myself either way, but really it doesn't matter. We just focus on not having any consumer debt, saving responsibly and paying off the mortgage as we can.

At April 29, 2014 at 2:12 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

I agree with you E.M., having only student loan debt (which is unavoidable for many) and only the amount you really needed for school makes you one of the people who are living a debt free lifestyle.

I'm glad to have one person I can talk to about my blog IRL. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my chest. :)

At April 29, 2014 at 2:13 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

KK - It sounds to me like you are living the debt free lifestyle. I'm not frugal by nature, I'm trying to practice and get better at it though and I hope I can say I chose to live the debt free lifestyle one day. Thanks for sharing you opinion with us.

At April 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM , Anonymous Debt Busting Chick said...

I'm trying to become debt free and then lead a debt free lifestyle. It'll be a couple of years yet! I thought about telling some family members about my blog but they're not into budgeting and paying off debt quickly.

At April 29, 2014 at 2:59 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

I understand your hesitation. I've only just told my brother. It'll be at least a couple years for me to become debt free too, but I hope to transition to "living the debt free lifestyle" by just trying to live frugally along my journey and continuing to live frugally after the debts are paid off.

At April 30, 2014 at 6:30 AM , Anonymous Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt said...

Even though I'm not debt free (consumer debt plus mortgage) I feel as though I'm living very frugally in the process! I will consider myself debt free when my consumer debt has gone even though I'll still have the mortgage.

At April 30, 2014 at 8:28 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Hayley - I will consider myself debt free when I've paid off my credit cards and my student loan. I'm pretty much ignoring the mortgage, at least for now. :)


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