No one likes lemon-flavored candy. Well, it seemed that way when I was a kid. But I did. I still love lemon-flavored anything — candy, pies, cookies, bars, drinks. YUM!
Guest what happens at Halloween when everyone gets lemon candy? They don’t eat them, so there’s a whole pile of Lemon Drops and lemon Starburst that no one wants — no tradesies!
What I quickly learned was that when you like something that no one else likes, you get more than everyone else, which I used to my advantage at Halloween, holiday parties, and birthdays.
Get our household budget spreadsheet that we use to track our spending. (You'll also get our 7 steps to financial freedom!)
Today, we’re celebrating the lemon-flavored candy of adulthood: personal finance. Why?
Because on March 14, 2017, we put our final debt payment in the mail. We’ve been debt free for more than one year. Wow!
Was paying off our debt as awesome as strawberry-flavored Starburst? No. Paying off debt was definitely in the lemon-flavored category, but I learned to love paying off our debt like I learned to love lemon Starburst.
Here are five reasons why I think you should learn to love what everyone else hates: personal finance.
1. More security
Learning how to manage our money, especially by way of a budget, gave us the security we sought.
We used to live a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, so we had no financial security. We were afraid of emergencies. We used credit cards to cover us when we spent too much money.
Because we learned how to budget money, we can anticipate most of our expenses, which helps us challenge those recurring expenses so we can save more money. Knowing what our expenses are and how much we spend was the KEY to us being able to pay off our debt.
Now that we’ve paid off our debt, we feel far more secure about our finances than we did before.
2. More choices
When we learned how to manage money, we learned about all the bad choices we made with our money. But what’s important now is that we learned how to make good choices!
Learning how to differentiate between good choices that aligned with our goals and bad choices that derailed our progress made it possible for us to accelerate our debt payoff journey.
Becoming debt free means we have more choices than ever, so we’ve chosen to fully fund an emergency fund and start investing for dividends.
3. More freedom
When we were in debt and had a mortgage, we felt bound to our past decisions, to our jobs, and to our poor choices.
Since we became debt free, we feel free to make different choices with our lives. We have the freedom to continue the same life we have today. Or we can leave this life behind and do something completely different. We have the freedom to move about the country or the world!
4. More time
At the beginning of our journey to debt freedom, we started a side hustle. We worked a ton of hours to try to get out of debt as quickly as possible.
Now, we’re not working nearly as many hours as we were before. We have more free time now to devote to the action verbs we enjoy most, like hiking and climbing.
5. More money
No debt means no debt payments.
Without debt payments, we have money we can use for other financial goals, like saving for travel or investing for financial independence/early retirement.
“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” – Dave Ramsey
I can totally relate. “If you eat the lemon candy no one else will eat, later you can have more lemon candy (or strawberry). And achieve financial freedom.” Or something like this. 🙂