A question that my husband Thom and I get every now and then is: “Are you guys independently wealthy or did your parents leave you a bunch of money?” The answer to both of them is “No!” As I’ve written before, both of us grew up in blue-collar households and we’ve been self-employed our entire lives. We’ve never once received financial assistance, unemployment benefits or won the lottery. Regardless of whether it sometimes look like we live the life of leisure, let me assure you, we’ve earned everything we have. It wasn’t always easy, and we made a bunch of mistakes early on, but fortunately, that’s changed. Along the way, we picked up some SMART and frugal practices that helped us hang on to much of the money we make. Now we use our money to do things we enjoy, and support people and projects we believe are worthy. I’m convinced we all have the potential to do the same.
Here are ten ways to save money and enjoy peace of mind:
#1 Go debt-free.
Yes, it is possible. And according to Survey.com, up to 20% of U.S. adults are completely debt free. Being completely debt free means that you don’t have a balance on your credit card, a car loan, a student loan, or any other debt. Best of all is when you have no mortgage on your home.
I get that it’s not easy for everyone, but this step was the most important thing Thom and I have done to be financially secure. When we rightsized our lives, moved into a house and neighborhood that easily fit our finances, we found a freedom that the truly wealthy usually enjoy. Trust me, it is worth all the effort.