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Wednesday 24th April 2024

Seven important lessons debt taught me 

Tolu Frimpong reflects on six years of debt freedom, sharing seven key lessons for a successful financial journey


It’s been six years since my husband and I achieved the goal of debt freedom.

Reflecting on this transformative journey, I’ve translated the experience into today’s post, where I share seven powerful lessons that debt taught me.

In the world of personal finance, experience truly is the best teacher, and I hope these insights inspire and guide you on your debt-free journey. 

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Lesson 1: All that glitters is not gold 

During our financial struggles, appearances were deceiving. Despite the debt looming over us, we kept up appearances, living our lives to the fullest externally.

Friends and family did not have a clue about how badly we were struggling financially.

Debt taught me the importance of facing reality and not succumbing to societal pressures. It’s a reminder that behind the façade of perfection, many are grappling with financial challenges. 

Lesson 2: Nobody is coming to save you 

The realisation hit hard – no knight in shining armour was coming to rescue us from our financial woes; it was all on us to fix the mess we had created.

Debt forced us to take responsibility for our situation, a tough love lesson emphasising the need for proactive action.

Complaining about external factors did not change our circumstances; only a willingness to tackle our financial challenges head-on did. 

Lesson 3: The power of budgeting and discipline 

As we navigated the debt-free journey we learnt the power of budgeting and disciplined spending.

Creating a zero-based budget involved a conscious effort to eliminate unnecessary costs and allocate a significant portion of our income toward debt repayment. This disciplined approach set the stage for accelerated progress in reducing outstanding debts. 

Lesson 4: Stop being impulsive 

The debt journey revealed my impulsive spending habits. From unnecessary purchases to items gathering dust with tags still on, I was forced to learn the art of restraint on my debt-free journey.

Now, every purchase is intentional, calculated, and aligned with our financial goals and there is no more swiping left and right without considering the true cost. 

Lesson 5: Choosing the right partner is crucial 

Debt is a shared burden, and having a partner aligned with your financial goals is paramount. My husband and I were fortunate to be on the same page, tackling our debt together as a team.

This experience taught me the importance of a united front when it comes to financial decisions in a relationship. 

Lesson 6: Time is of the essence in financial planning 

Debt taught me the significance of time in financial planning. The longer you’re in debt, the more interest compounds against you.

Recognising this early on could have saved us money in interest payments. It’s a lesson in setting realistic goals and taking swift, measurable steps towards debt freedom. 

Lesson 7: Consumerism’s grip and the value of contentment 

I was caught in the web of consumerism, but debt made me reassess my priorities. Social media pressures and the need to ‘keep up’ influenced my spending decisions.

Now, having embraced a minimalist mindset, I find joy in simplicity and non-material possessions. Debt taught me that true contentment doesn’t come from acquiring more things. 

Photo credits: Pexels

Tolu Frimpong

Mouthy Blogger

Tolu is a Money Coach and Content Creator, passionate about helping others break the payday-to-payday cycle and achieve their financial goals, through the power of intentional budgeting, saving and investing. When she’s not talking about money you can find her spending time with her 3 boisterous boys.

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