Characteristics of Debt-Free People I Try To Emulate6 min read

corkboard, wisdom, patience, confidence, goal-driven, responsibility, non-materialistic, makes sacrifices

Characteristics I've Tried To Develop More Of

A blog post recently published by Dave Ramsey's team called "7 Characteristics of Debt-Free People" got me thinking the other day. I want to be more like these people. I want to emulate these characteristics. Many of them I'm still not great at, but I am learning more about them and striving to integrate them into my daily life. These characteristics are simple and extend further out then just how you handle your money. So, without further ado, here is how I've grown in each of the areas of the top characteristics of debt-free people.

1. Wisdom

I think we are all looking to become more wise. But, wisdom is different than intelligence. Wisdom is action where intelligence is just thought process. I think that by becoming a "doer" and not just a reader, we become more wise. By creating my budget new each and every month, I am gaining wisdom about how to handle my finances better. I am learning more and more through my action.

2. Patience

If you want to learn more about gaining patience, just have kids. My wife and I have had to learn patience with things that we want and ways to delay pleasure so that we can make wiser decisions so that our future selves will appreciate us more. One of the biggest things that we've had to learn is how to compromise with each other to fill our goals. We know that we can't do everything at once, so we had to make a list of priorities and then be patient enough to work down that list. This is still an active part of our core skills we are building, and I don't know when we'll be able to say that we are "successful" at it. But, I know that we have some new tools up our sleeves to try to get on the same page and allow ourselves to work together for the common goal rather than just what we want individually.

3. Confidence

Our confidence in how we handle our money has grown tremendously. I can remember when we were first getting started, and we were barely getting by. We couldn't think about the future, let alone next week. There is something about having our budget in order and knowing where our money is going that allows us to focus on bigger and better things with a level of comfort that can't really be explained. Our confidence in the plan and our confidence in our own skill of handling money continues to grow month by month as our net worth does. We are seeing options that are much bigger than ourselves and starting to work to meet some of those needs.  It feels great and I know that when you get a hold of your finances in a way that they don't become troublesome, it will allow you to do great things as well.

4. Goal-Driven

Both my wife and I are very goal-driven. We set our target and then go after it. This has been great on our journey. We have been aiming at something the whole time, whether it be our debt snowball, our emergency fund, or building up our investments. Goal setting has to be one of our biggest motivators. Set yourself a goal today and start working towards it with everything you have and you will see progress unlike you have ever experienced before!

5. Responsibility

Responsibility goes hand in hand with maturity. We knew things had to change for us when we were getting started. We were drowning in debt and our expenses were actually outweighing our income. This brought on a tremendous amount of responsibility that we were needing to face. We stood up to it and developed a plan. By becoming responsible, I think we have been given more. I think that as we grow our net worth and become more generous, God is going to be asking more of us, but, He's also going to bless us more as we take on and take care of more.

6. Non-Materialistic

This one has always been a hard one for me as I am a sucker for technology. I find that if I can control my trigger points that cause me to spend, then I have a much better chance of saying no to that new shiny "whatever" and staying focused on my goals. By working harder to learn to enjoy experiences and things that won't fade over time, I'm getting better at realizing what's really important in my life.

7. Willing To Make Sacrifices

If you want to win at anything, you have to be willing to give up to go up. We had to learn to make sacrifices now so that we could prosper more in the future. Not only us, but we have lofty goals of leaving a legacy to our children and their children that is more important than any thing that we can get here. By making sacrifices, we are giving up the little to get the big. I think by having our priorities strong and working to make sure we can change our family tree, we will be able to give up the little things today.

Characteristics of Debt-Free People I Try To Emulate. | When you think of debt free, what kinds of things come to mind? Check out these 7 characteristics I've chosen to emulate as I take my financial journey.

I would like to leave you with the outro that was in the article that inspired me to write this:

The bottom line? You have to be motivated and do something about it over time.

If you want to get out of debt, you can get out of debt—no matter how much money you owe. Even if you don’t think you’re particularly strong in all of these characteristics, you’ll be amazed at how your perception of “wants” and “needs” will change once you start the Baby Steps.

When you’re motivated, passionate and even a little angry, you’re more than willing to do whatever is needed to find financial peace. Everything else will take care of itself.

Are you ready to finally take control of your finances? Let my budgeting spreadsheets help!

Just fill out the form below and I'll send you the link to get the same exact budgeting spreadsheets that I use each month!

Included in the workbook:


  • Monthly budget form
  • Breakdown of savings form (for your sinking funds)
  • Overview of your financial plan

I've been using these same forms since August 2011 and have grown my family's net worth 500% tracking our money using these forms!

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Steven Goodwin

Owner/Blogger/Consultant at MyFamilyOnABudget
Steve Goodwin, a stay-at-home dad of two girls is passionate about finances and is helping others just like you get out of debt and build wealth handling money God's way. His goal is to inspire people like you to gain control of their finances by destroying debt and building wealth using their cash flow.
Posted in Finances, Paying Off Debt.


  1. This is such an insightful post Steven! What stood out to me was #4 Goal setting and #7 Making sacrifices. Having goals including a budget, sinking fuss, and an emergency fund is essential to a healthy financial lifestyle.

    “You have to be willing to give up to go up.”

    This is so true! Keep up the good work. Great post! Keep moving forward!
    Jonathan Key recently posted…Monthly Goal Setting: September 2015My Profile

  2. These are all great characteristics; one’s that my wife and I are trying to emulate as well. Number 7, Willing to make sacrifices, is a huge one for me. Having the courage to 1) make a plan/goal that your passionate about and 2) do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal is the definition of maturity in my mind (As long as the goal is noble, worthwhile and morally just). Great post!

  3. Awesome post…very insightful and informative. I especially enjoyed reading through all the characteristics that debt-free people exhibit. I feel in today’s world where allurements are present in every nook and corner, it is difficult to be non-materialistic. However, it is the best way to remain free from debt. I really appreciate your writings. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Stacy! This means a lot coming from another financial blogger! Materialism in our society today is tuning out of control! We need to work harder to live within our means and not overspend. It’s all good to have nice stuff, but you don’t want that stuff to enslave you to your job and cut off your options you have available!

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