When you’ve got bills and debt to pay off, you are constantly feeling like you’re running a personal finance marathon. Each month is a sprint to the finish to see how much debt you can pay off. We do it to get to that finish line. To send that last check (or bill pay payment) and then run into the streets screaming. Some of us may even follow that up with a call to a certain Mr. Ramsey. With any luck, most of us will reach that point sooner rather than later.
But, then what? We’re done paying off debt. We don’t need this silly budget thing anymore right? And we certainly don’t need to be worried about how much we’re spending. And so what if we leave a balance on our credit cards now and again. Wrong. Oh so wrong. If your years of debt repayment hasn’t conditioned you to it already, you’ll soon find out that you still have to do all of that. You might be able to loosen the strings a little, but keeping those habits is what will keep you from ever going back there again.
Just like any physical trainer will tell you; if you want to keep in marathon shape, you’ve got to keep maintaining your fitness. You can’t expect to stop and then still be able to run another marathon. In short, you’ve got to keep on the treadmill.
With all of your debt paid off and only your monthly expenses to worry about, you’ve got to get on “the Debt Free Treadmill”. You’ve got to use it to keep your self in financial shape. However, in this case, it is so you never have to run that marathon again. Debt is an easy trap to fall into. It only takes one lazy month to leave a little balance on a credit card and start the cycle all over.
Get on “the Debt Free Treadmill”! Keep yourself in financial shape by continuing the same habits of saving, budgeting, investing, and frugality that you used to finish that marathon. Use it to your advantage. Unlike a large majority of the people in this world, you aren’t running that marathon. Best of all, you get to use that financial fitness to benefit others. Share your knowledge, and help people reach the marathon finish line so that they can jump on “the Debt Free Treadmill”!
Image Credit: Treadmill Workout by sirwiseowl, on Flickr
I started this blog to share what I know and what I was learning about personal finance. Along the way I’ve met and found many blogging friends. Please feel free to connect with me on the Beating Broke accounts: Twitter and Facebook.
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Broke by Choice says
I love this post. Life after debt is sometime I wonder about. Right now I follow Dave’s 7 Baby Steps, but what about when I have completed the stesp.
I am sure as I get closer the picture will become clearer.
(I referenced your post in my post today)
Khaleef @ KNS Financial says
Very true! It’s so important to stay on top of your finances, lest you end up in the same hole! I have known plenty of people who have accomplished a goal only to fall backwards soon after!
Good way to think about it! That you can’t just stop “exercising your budgets” when you’ve achieved your goal, that you need to maintain things to keep everything kosher. =)
BeatingBroke.com Reader says
I enjoy Dave Ramsey! He has helped me as well as several other people escape financial debt. If only folks would act their wage!