How Will You Be Remembered?
Leaving a lasting legacy is one of the most profound things you can do while on this earth. We are only here for a short time and the difference that we make in other’s lives is how we will be remembered.
There are so many different ways to leave a legacy. Whether it be by raising kids that go on to do great things, making a difference in your community or helping others. All of these are great things that can leave an impact on others for years to come.
If we truly base our current actions on how we want to be remembered I believe it completely changes the dynamics of our lives and what our life is about.
I thoroughly enjoy personal finance. It’s one of my passions in life. I have done some very smart things financially speaking and also some very dumb things. I love teaching others what I have learned.
Debt weighs us down, it holds us back and limits our options. I have been on both sides of debt. I have been weighed down by it and I have thrown off the chains of debt and seen how much better life is without it.
There are 3 key reasons why being debt free can lay the groundwork for leaving a lasting legacy.
I don’t care where you are in life. Kids, no kids, married, single, it doesn’t matter. Having more options leads to a better life. No matter what your goals are in life, if you are debt free you will have a better chance of meeting those goals.
For me personally, getting out of debt has given me about $1,000 more per month in my pocket. That is 1,000 more options than I had before. What would you do with an extra $1,000? I chose to take that money and save for a house and invest it so that I have even more options later in life.
Give your kids a head start
I wrote a post not long ago about whether or not parents should pay for college for their kids. If possible, I think that it is a great thing for parents to at least be able to pay for some college expenses. This gives your kids more options later in life. If you are anything like me, you graduated college with a significant amount of student loan debt. This debt hung around my neck for several years after graduating.
I don’t think it’s healthy to dwell on the past but it still bugs me to think about how much further along I would be financially if I had made better financial decisions in college and immediately after college.
Peace of mind
Now that I have been out of debt for several years I have a whole new perspective on debt. When I was in debt several years ago I had no idea how much it was weighing me down mentally. Knowing that I don’t owe anyone anything is a huge burden off my mind. We only live once, so why not enjoy it and have a better quality life. Being debt free is less stressful. A certain amount of stress is a good thing but unwanted, burdensome stress causes you to age faster, have more health problems and typically makes you a less pleasant person to be around.
The sooner you start the better.
Starting something new or changing your lifestyle can be a daunting experience. If you are not ready to dive into paying off your debt then I recommend starting small. What is your smallest loan balance? Start there. Throw an extra $100 this month at that debt or better yet, pay it off completely this month if you can.
I think you will be surprised at how easy it is and how good it makes you feel. I got a thrill out of watching my debts slowly disappear. It became like a game to me.
I have heard countless stories from people in their 40’s and 50’s who are not only living with burdensome debt but they are also living with a deep amount of regret. Sure, they had a blast in their 20’s and 30’s but now they are paying the price.
There is the pain of regret or the pain of hard work and sacrifice.
I choose hard work and sacrifice.
If these people could go back and do it over again, they would. If you are reading this and you are in your 20’s or 30’s then don’t waste this opportunity. You have to think long-term.
For some people, this is easier said than done. I am a long-term thinker. I don’t know if I was born that way or if I have programmed myself to be that way but the way I see it is that I want my life to get better the older I get. When I get to retirement I want to have very little stress in my life.
Do you think that someone in their 50’s that has a negative net worth is living a stress- free life? Unless they are just ignorant and oblivious to their situation then I don’t think they are. I would guess that they are extremely stressed out about how they are going to retire in the next 10 to 15 years and still maintain the lifestyle that they currently have.
Leave A Legacy
Money is such a huge part of our lives whether we like it or not. Securing your financial future is critical to setting the foundation for your legacy.
What do you really want your life to be about? No matter what your answer is, money is going to play a role in your life and being weighed down by debt is only going to limit the choices you have.
Change your mindset.
Get out of debt.
Leave a legacy, change your family tree.