By Seth Busetti
I love that there is an entire community of people sharing their debt free journey on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, or in small groups at their churches. Some people are overcoming oppressive mountains of student loans. Others are unshackling themselves from debilitating consumer debt. You name your social media profiles accordingly. You post about your struggles and your progress. Simply amazing! This journey will be well worth it. We went through it too. Then what?
What is your identity? What do you become once you are free? Does “Debt Free Mama” turn into “401K Mama”? Do “Lovebirds On A Budget” turn into “Lovebirds With Long Term Care Insurance”? Right now, it may seem like getting your debt, spending, and savings under control is the center of your existence. For a few years of hard discipline and training, this is probably real life. But do you really want the next 20 or 50 years of your existence to be labeled by your financial state? Not me. Money isn’t my identity. Budgeting isn’t who I am. Sure, I hope to experience the benefits of blissful affluence, but being poor, average, or rich isn’t my identity.
I am creative. I am inquisitive. I am resourceful. I am adventurous. I love the outdoors. I am loyal. I am a husband. I am a father. I am a family man. I am a man of faith.
What I am describing is a transition from financial focus to financial freedom. A person who is not free, who is an actual prisoner perhaps, constantly thinks of the prison cell. The prison rules. The prison guard. The prison food. A free person thinks of none of these things. When you finally become financially free, your life stops revolving around debt repayments, budgets, or savings plans, and starts opening up to living, really enjoying life, nurturing family, fostering talents, pursuing dreams, and hopefully serving others. Of course you’ll still budget and and practice financial prudence, but does a free man constantly think about not breaking the law? Not me, mostly I tend not to do that by habit, self control, and respect for others, not single-minded focus on rule adherence. Similarly, for practicing financial stewardship. When you’re “on the outside” of your debt free journey, your focus can get back to living the life God has blessed you with and called you to live.
So what will you do when you are free of debt, financially stable, and have a secure financial future? What will you be? Will you be a great artist? Maybe travel the world with your family and experience new cultures? Perhaps you’ll sponsor missionaries to spread the hope of the Gospel to every corner of the earth? Would you own a ranch, with horses, and grow your own fruit and vegetables? Or why not start a business? Adopt children in need? Build an orphanage? I hope you are like me and have some very big dreams. We’d love to hear some of your dreams. Send us an email or a DM on social media, what will you do when you are free? There is a whole universe of possibility beyond debt free.