Shoeaholic No More



April 2014



Debt Free vs Debt Free Lifestyle

Written by , Posted in Money & Finances

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8231671430_e83d55aa51_zWhat’s the difference between being debt free and living a debt free lifestyle?

Recently I was reading on Tabitha Fletcher’s Blog about the difference between being debt free and living a debt free lifestyle.

Debt free is essentially a moment in time, right after you have paid off your last debt. This is when you feel freedom and you can spend your money how you want because it is no longer owed to any creditors.

Tabitha tells us that everyone has been debt free at some point, for lots of us that are working to get out of debt this moment happened during our childhood and we don’t really know or remember feeling free since we hadn’t yet experienced life with debt. There are also those who pass in and out of debt freedom constantly racking up debt and then paying it off in a continuous cycle.

Debt free is something I’m working toward, but it will be a few years before I reach this point of total freedom. (Not including my mortgage because then it’d be even more than a few years.)

The debt free lifestyle however is something you can attain before being debt free. It is a lifestyle choice rather than a destination.

If you are trying to pay off your debts, and remain debt free, you are probably one who chose to live the debt free lifestyle. Essentially, this is living frugally.

It may not always be the most comfortable and people may not understand your frugal choices, but in my opinion, it is worth it in the end when you don’t have to borrow money to pay for your lifestyle.

To me, someone can be living the debt free lifestyle and still obtain debt for large purchases (a mortgage, a NECESSARY student loan, etc) as long as they are still living frugally and not taking on debt due to lifestyle inflation.

What do you think, are you striving to be debt free or to live the debt free lifestyle?

Note: I’ve told one person IRL about my blog and what it’s about. I didn’t go into full details of how much debt I’m in, but I told my brother about starting the blog to pay off debt and de-clutter my life. He was very receptive to the idea and told me about some of his ventures to make money online too.

Photo courtesy of: Chris Potter

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Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


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