Like a wave that keeps building and finally crashes with great force, holding you underwater, breathless for a spell, debt behaves the same. The debt kept piling up and piling up until I felt trapped beneath it, slowly and somewhat innocently at first, then suddenly it was upon me, fast and furious. There were times when I literally couldn’t breathe. Times where I couldn’t open one more late notice, foreclosure letter, or answer one more collection call. Would I ever come up for air? Was there any hope for a debt free future? Depressed and in a dreadfully dark place, something had to change. And quickly. Little did I realize that that something…was me.

As though a prayer answered, he was staring at me from the cover of one of my favorite magazines begging me to read about his zero-based budget and his financial peace plan. At first I was skeptical. I had tried so many budgets in the past and none of them worked because none of them made practical sense. I thought financial peace was an oxymoron. I opened the magazine and read the article anyway, because, why not. Besides, I was desperate.

The article sparked something inside me and I immediately purchased his book. I couldn’t wait to dig in. Once I did, my entire financial life and financial perspective changed. For the first time ever I had an emergency fund. For the first time ever I had a plan to become debt free and be set free. And once I became debt free and set free, well, let me share with you five surprising benefits.

Benefit 1: You will radically change the way you shop.

I know it sounds a bit strange, yet it’s so true. You will completely change how you view every single purchase. You will be less drawn to things and more drawn to value, quality, and need versus want. You will delay a purchase over impulse. This is radical!

Benefit 2: You will have no desire to go into debt again…ever.

Because you worked so hard to get here and because the feeling of being debt free is so liberating, you will never want to be bound by debt chains again and will go to great lengths to avoid doing so. Even at the urging of your friends and family members, you won’t fall victim. They will think you’re weird, and that’s okay. Debt is normal and what everyone buys into. Who wants that?  Be different!

Benefit 3: You will no longer care about your credit score.

You understand that a credit score is solely based upon you having debt and making payments to that debt, that you no longer tie your worth to your credit score. In fact, you tie your financial worth to your net worth and know that your greatest wealth builder is your income, not how much debt you’ve acquired by acquiring stuff.

Benefit 4: You will experience pure financial freedom and financial peace.

Need I say more? This, hands down, is the greatest feeling ever. I have a personal philosophy and belief that everyone needs to experience this freedom and peace in their lives. When you do, you will never go back to the way things were.

Benefit 5: You will want everyone to have what you have.

Warn your friends and family because you’ll soon become a walking, talking, breathing advocate of becoming debt free. So much so that you will want everyone to experience this freedom. You feel so much lighter, you are no longer sucked under by debt with too much month at the end of the money, and you make better decisions. It makes complete sense that you want your loved ones onboard the debt free train.

Regardless of your present situation, hope lies on the horizon. You simply need the right plan, accountability, and action. Like gazelle intense action. Put your head down, your bottom up, and then don’t let up until you’ve reached your goal.

As always, I’m here to help guide and point you in the direction of where you want you want to go. As Jim Rohn so eloquently stated, “It’s the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go”.

So when, my friend, will you set your financial freedom and debt free sails?