To be as debt-free as you can be is to be as free as you can be. I like the sound of that… By resisting a lifestyle that consumes all of your ‘pay’, you will be rewarded with a financial freedom that is unknown to most of your friends, your workmates, and most others who have dug themselves into a financial hole. At first it may seem difficult to forgo the lifestyle of apparent ‘riches’ due to modern marketing and ‘peer pressure’ from those who believe they actually own the assets that they parade around… or those who appear to live life lavishly. But after awhile you will realize that most of them really actually own little to nothing, and their apparent flourishing lifestyle is all hinged on bank loans and debt. It’s a facade. A front. Many of them are ‘stuck’ and saddled with debts and loans that seemingly go on forever… They are anything but ‘free’ from the system. Especially if you start young, a financial philosophy of living far BELOW your ‘means’ (your paycheck) will keep money in your pocket instead of owing it all to the bank. It will enable a life of liberation and freedom from the system that is rigged to keep you down. Here’s how: First, DO NOT be trapped into the marketing ploy of ‘affordable monthly payments’. Nearly everything today is priced in monthly payments rather than the actual full price. So don’t think of things in terms of payments, but think in terms of actual total cost. If you do choose to take on a loan (e.g. a car loan), buy something that leaves plenty of extra in your budget. Do not even get close to your max. Buy a used car instead of a new car. In everything that you buy, get into the habit of thinking “Do I really need that?”, and if you do need it, then be frugal about your choices. Avoid eating out. Make you own meals. Eat leftovers. Make your own coffee. Stop copying others who are living a life of ridiculous debt. Do not keep up with the Joneses. Discover ‘thrift stores’. There are lots of bargain stores out there that sell the same items (or used items) as other stores for less. (Again, a frugal theme…) Discipline yourself. No impulsiveness. Once you allow yourself to ‘give in’, it will happen more often, and the next thing you know you’ll have fallen off the wagon… Pay cash for things. I’ve posted about this general topic many times in the past (because I feel it’s important). This time I’m emphasizing the simple (but difficult) notion to live way below your means – so that you’ll have plenty left over. The way ‘the system’ works however is such that it only ‘works’ if people are borrowing money. It is a debt-based monetary system. Ironically, ‘growth’ is ‘more debt’. Some people can manage debt to their advantage, but most people are not able – so be careful… For those who are already saddled with debt, this may be already too late – although don’t lose hope. It will take a lot of work to climb out, but in the end it’s all worth it. Related Article: (4 Step Plan To Eliminate Credit Card Debt) Of interest: Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money For those who are not yet ‘sunk’, just don’t fall for the glitz. It’s all designed to enslave you.