Getting out of debt is a major accomplishment for individuals and families. Freedom from debt opens up opportunities that once were off limits. Not only do you have more money, but also more time to devote to things that you love. You deserve to celebrate this milestone.
However, you want to be smart about how you mark this monumental moment. Celebrating by overspending puts you right back into a cycle of debt.
Here is our list of frugal ways to celebrate your new financial freedom:
Throw a Small Gathering
Invite friends and family members over to your place, order some food, and talk, watch movies, or play games. Your debt free celebration doesn’t have to be an expensive, game-changing event: it could just be a gathering with your closest friends and family.
Buy a Small Treat
Avoid buying expensive gifts for yourself, like a new car, boat, or HD television. Instead purchase a new bike, book a cruise trip, or subscribe to a premium streaming service, like HBO Now.
The small treat could involve a shopping trip to a high end clothing or shoe store, like Saks Off Fifth. Use the Saks Off Fifth Groupon page to find deals that make these already discounted items even more affordable. These deals fit right into your frugal lifestyle. You get to buy quality made, fashionable garments for extremely reduced prices.
Take Yourself Out
Dine out at a restaurant that is a little fancier than your normal eatery. Order whatever you want without worrying about the bill; add some additional fun activities like going to see a movie, play, or concert. Spend the evening without a financial care in the world. A single day of spending a little more than normal is not going to damage your savings and budget, so enjoy the fruits of your hard work.
Invest in an Experience
Celebrate your debt-free life by investing in an experience. Dust off your old bucket list and look for activities that you always wanted to do, but kept putting off because of debt. Now that you’re free of it, make some of those bucket list dreams a reality.
Choose between doing the experience in the near future or in the far future. Your savings should dictate the appropriate time to accomplish one of these experiences. Without the burden of debt, you have more than enough extra money to climb a mountain in a foreign country or skydive on your honeymoon.
Set up an Emergency Funds Account
Now that you have conquered the big bad debt wolf, make sure you never have to battle him again. Deposit any extra money into a separate savings account for emergencies. If any unexpected life traumas occur, like the loss of a job or an unexpected medical bill, you already have the money saved to cover it.
Eliminate Credit Cards
Keep one credit card around for additional financial emergency assistance. The rest of your credit card accounts should be closed, or hide them far out of sight and reach. Eliminate credit cards to lessen the temptation to fall back into the debt trap.
Add More Money to Retirement Fund
Instead of adding 5 percent every paycheck to your retirement fund, increase it to 10 or 15 percent. This gives you less immediate money, but allows you to save more and retire earlier.
Focus on a Dream
Is there anything that you have delayed because of your debt? Maybe you have been putting off your wedding because you didn’t want to burden your partner with debt, or just couldn’t afford it. Now you can.
Maybe you wanted to go back to school but didn’t want to go back while still in debt. You’re free now, so go further your education. Lastly, maybe you wanted to start a business but had no money saved for it. Now you can use your extra money to fund your business. Without debt, allow your dreams to grow into real tangible goals