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You have just made that last debt payment. You breathe a sigh of relief and think, wow, I am proud of myself. But what now?

Never forget the experience. Never forget the financial stress that ran through your veins. Never forget the sleepless nights. Never forget of wondering where the money will come from. It’s done. You did it. Time to proudly move on.

Budgeting For The Future
After getting out of debt you need to plan and establish a monthly budget. This may be one of the hardest things to do. You need to look at every expense and determine if it is necessary and can you afford it without using credit cards. Make a list of all your income and expenses. Click here to use this form for guidance. Having everything on paper really will help you see where your money is going! Do you have any left over? If not, re-work the budget until you do.

Establish Emergency Funds
Now that you have extra money, the first thing you need to do with every paycheck is pay yourself or better yet, your bank account. As silly as this may seem, it will help you create a stable financial future. The purpose of the emergency fund is to help you through tough times that could happen. You know that already.

Increase Contributions
Another way to help build your future financial freedom is to increase contributions to your retirement. Don’t have one? Search retirement funds and you will find many firms where an account can be opened online without waiting in line somewhere. Putting additional money in your retirement account will increase your future retirement income and force you into fiscal discipline. Not a bad thing. That increase in your future retirement income will allow you to live more comfortably down the road.

Treat Yourself
Just feel good. Being debt free is a great feeling! To stay debt free and build your financial future will take some work but it’s worth it. Remember, stick to your budget and do not use credit cards.

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