Have you ever wondered if paying off debt has intangible benefits?
When I was on my journey towards becoming debt free, I wondered the same thing.
Some of the normal benefits of course are; not living paycheck to paycheck, the freedom to travel and actually have some “fun money”.
But in addition to the main ones, I noticed there were some other intangible but very real side-affects that I experienced when paying off my debts.
1. Less Physical and Mental Stress
When people are dealing with mountains of debt, they’re much more likely to report health problems. Four of the five top causes of death in America (heart disease, stroke, cancer and lower respiratory diseases) can be triggered by stress.
And as we all know, one of the biggest contributing factors is financial stress. So as you pay down your debt, you reduce the amount of both physical and mental stressors. Which helps you become a healthier and happier person.
2. Better Relationships
One of the main reasons for couples splitting up and getting divorced, is money fights and money problems. This was one of the reasons my marriage failed, so I understand firsthand the part financial stress plays in a relationship.
But by reducing your debt, you’ll be eliminating one of the biggest factors that contributes to stress within your relationship. Many studies have shown that happily married couples outlive singles, divorced and unhappily married individuals.
Having less debt means fewer reasons to fight about money and spending, which leads to more harmonious relationships. You’ll have more successful relationships – with your kids, your parents and of course your spouse.
3. Opportunity to Fund Your Dreams
Reducing your debt lets you have the freedom to spend, save and give as you see fit. This means you can save for that vacation you want, or spend money on some new furniture for your home.
Having financial flexibility gives you and your money the opportunity to fund your dreams and goals, instead of funding someone else’s bank account. Instead of being in debt to credit card companies your whole life, you can take more risks and have more fun.
4. More Community Involvement
Paying down debt can have many positive effects on your finances. When you don’t have major debt weighing you down, you can be more involved in your community.
You can give of your time and money more freely, instead of paying bills and debt payments. You help increase the quality of life of those around you, which helps raise the overall standard of living for everyone.
5. Peace of Mind
I’ve said it before, but having peace of mind when it comes to your financial future is priceless. No amount of stuff or material possessions will make you feel as good as having peace of mind.
To be able to lay down at night knowing your family will be taken care of, that your kids can go to college and that you can work at a job that truly makes you happy. These are all intangible benefits that come with not owing debt.
They may not be evident when you look at them on paper, but sometimes life is about more than just doing the math. Once you begin paying off your debt, you might experience some of these unexpected but wonderful side-effects.
A version of this post originally appeared here and is syndicated here with permission.
About the Author:
In 2010 Carrie Smith found herself divorced, in debt and completely broke. After reaching rock bottom, she decided to change her life. Now she’s debt-free, and through her blog Careful Cents, helps other go-getters find the motivation to regain financial control and create their dream lifestyle.
She’s also the Community Leader for the Debt Movement. Connect with her on Twitter @carefulcents.