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How to Avoid the Debt Free Spending Spree

February 25, 2016

During my daily perusing round of personal finance blogs, this little number from Dream Beyond Debt caught my eye because it fits nicely along with our theme this week — life after debt.

So many articles and blogs focus on paying off debt, budgeting, investing, yada yada, but no one really seems to focus on those pivotal months between making that final debt payment and debt freedom. Shouldn’t there be a transition period? How easy is it to slide back into debt? Sure, I paid off those pesky loans and bills, but now I have cash influx?

Is it just me, or does it seem like as soon as that debt is paid in full, everything we own suddenly looks frumpy, broken, or old?

As Amanda at DBD remarks,

… five days into debt freedom and life suddenly got a whole lot more expensive.

We don’t want debt freedom to become a passing phase in our life, but how can we deal with the urges that come with more money?

Simple.

  1. Make a plan.
  2. Stick to it.

Piece of cake, people.

This advice has been said time and time again, but that’s because it’s true: If you don’t rule your money, or your money will rule you.

Recently, after become debt free, Amanda had to make a trip to the mall. Obviously, there were things to buy. Beautiful things. She found herself in Nordstrom looking at shoes (which I relate to, Amanda), talking to a salesperson, and considering making the purchase.

Then, she didn’t.

She was letting her desire to spend her money rule her, but she found the antidote. What is it?

Amanda wisely explains,

The antidote was to go home and make a plan. I have to tell my money where and when it should go. I can always go back to the mall. Or, I could make the purchases online through Ebates and get a smidge of cash back. The point is: I can’t let myself go hog wild on a spending spree just because I reached my goal. Sure, I’d like to celebrate, but who says I have to spend money to honor my achievement?

After reaching a goal, we often think that we deserve a treat. I stood in front of the mirror and thought, “I deserve these Vans.” I’ve been very good about not spending money on clothing or “stuff.” I deserve a new pair of shoes. (Plus, I’m gonna need a pair soon.)

So I better plan for a pair.

Having a plan helps tame the spending urges.

All you have to do is make a plan. Whether that be making a budget, increasing your savings, learning to invest, or making a spending priority list, it’s important to stick to a plan to make this phase of life-after-debt manageable. You don’t want to let having money and the desire to spend it rule your decisions, silly rabbit.

How to Manage Spending Urges after Paying Off Debt | Dream Beyond Debt

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