If you’ve ever been in serious debt or are right now you know the feeling that your creditors own you lock, stock and bank account. I’ve been there, I know.
Debt steals your freedom one option at a time until you become its prisoner.
Debt keeps you chained to a job you hate. It keeps you stuck in the past, unable to move forward in life. And big debt causes terrible stress that makes it hard to breathe, keeps you awake, spoils relationships and zaps the joy out of living.
It makes sense that if debt steals your options, then repaying debt creates financial freedom. But that’s not necessarily true.
If you spend just the amount you earn, you won’t be living beyond your means or creating new debt to bridge the shortfall, but you will be broke at the end of every month spinning your wheels, living from one paycheck to the next.
The first rule of sound money management is to live below your means—spend less than you earn. This means creating a margin between what you earn and what you spend. The secret to finding financial freedom—freedom from financial worry, fear and want—is in the gap between the amount you earn and what you spend.
The bigger the gap, the more freedom you will enjoy. It’s the money you don’t spend that gives you the freedom to grow your dreams and prepare for the future.