Getting out of debt is hard enough – so the last thing you want to do is fall right back into it after you’ve pushed yourself to take care of all the expenses you had to pay off. However, there’s no shame in celebrating this big accomplishment as long as you know how to not go overboard with your spending again.
After all, living debt-free is a big deal!
It’s a milestone worth acknowledging in your life and rewarding yourself for. The best way to celebrate without putting too much of a strain on your budget is to be smart about what you plan and how much you pay for it.
Here are a few ideas for things you can do to celebrate paying off debt without creating more debt.
1. Treat Yourself to a Nice Meal
One of the biggest expenses people throw money at is food. You probably noticed this as you were cutting down on grocery expenses and trying not to eat out while taking care of your debt.
These are good habits to keep now that you’re out of debt. But, there’s no harm in taking yourself out to a nice meal from time to time, especially for a big occasion.
Choose a restaurant in town that you’ve been meaning to check out or go to your favorite place to eat and splurge a bit. Even if the check is a bit indulgent for one meal, it’s only one meal. This shouldn’t set you too far back.
2. Go Out for Dessert
Maybe you’re hesitant to go out to eat because you want to do something with the whole family. Or maybe you’re not sure about that celebration plan because you’d rather not spend too much money at all.
Here’s a thought: go out for dessert instead.
Treat yourself to just chocolate fondue at the Melting Pot or head to a specialty dessert shop and let yourself have some fun for a little while. You probably weren’t doing much of this while you were trying to get out of debt. Now’s your chance to make up for that time.
3. Get Together with Friends and Family
Sometimes it’s not what you to celebrate that matters as much as who you’re with. Be sure to share this occasion with your loved ones. It’s a nice way to enjoy every bit of excitement that comes with taking care of debt, and it’s also a smart idea to help you cut down on the celebration’s cost.
Have everyone over for dinner and ask them to pitch in $5-$10 for groceries. You can also host a potluck and invite people to bring their own delicious creations. Or, maybe just open your home to everyone you love, play some music, and order pizza.
There’s no need to overcomplicate this celebration. As long as you have the right people by your side, you’re sure to have a good time and you probably won’t end up spending as much as you’d think.
4. Take a Day Off
Money isn’t the only thing that gets spent when you’re paying off debt. You probably took a second job or picked up extra hours at your main place of employment to make ends meet, right?
Between that and not going out as much and doing other things to make and save money, you were investing a lot of your time into your financial debt.
Now you can take some of that time back.
Give yourself a well-deserved day off and just let the day come and go. Relax, and don’t think about work – it can wait until tomorrow. Or, plan a full day of budget-friendly celebration activities to really make your newfound financial freedom settle in. You can do things like get a massage, do a bit of shopping, or go for a day trip somewhere.
5. Do Something BIG
Another way to celebrate getting out of debt is to keep working and saving as if you’re still in debt until you hit a certain number in savings. Then, use those funds to go all-out with your celebration.
Take a long, expensive vacation or use this money as your support to start a business or take time off working altogether to focus on other things.
You can pretty much do anything with your savings when you have the right amount of money available. This allows you to really reap the financial rewards you’ve created for yourself without any guilt or worries at all.
6. Make a Mindful Investment
Instead of spending all your money on something big, how about multiplying the savings you already have? One of the best ways to stay out of debt is to invest your money into smart resources like stocks, a home, or a retirement fund.
Stocks will rise and fall, and there’s always a risk associated with them, but they do offer a good payout when you know what you’re doing. Something like a paid-off home or a retirement fund, though, gives you peace of mind. Even if you do end up back in debt, you’ll have the security of a roof over your head and some extra emergency funds if you need them.
Also, keep in mind that not all debt is bad. Once you’ve taken care of things like student loans or extensive credit card bills, you can start using credit cards to rack up cashback earnings or travel opportunities. You can find out more about the good side of having credit cards on this page.
7. Plan for the Future
Speaking of the peace of mind of a smart investment, take a moment to notice how much of that you feel right now. There’s not as much pressure or fear in your life once you get rid of debt; you’re able to breathe a little easier and enjoy each day a lot more.
This is priceless. It’s worth enjoying this feeling as much as possible and setting habits in place so that it never goes away. Maybe the best way to celebrate getting out of debt is to stick to some of the saving/spending habits you used to overcome it in the first place.
Sure, you should treat yourself a bit. But, never forget the smart financial decisions you had to make when you were facing a big pile of debt. These will keep you from ending up back in that place.
Getting Out of Debt and Staying Debt-Free
It’s one thing to get out of debt and a completely different story to stay debt-free for the rest of your life. As much as you should celebrate this huge accomplishment, you can’t let your good financial habits get away from you.
Keep this in mind as you plan whatever you’re doing to celebrate getting out of debt. If you do plan on going all-out to celebrate, consider going on the ultimate getaway to reward all the work you’ve put into overcoming debt.