– So you’re close to paying off debt, or thinking about what you should do immediately after becoming debt free. Well, I’m a weirdo. So the planning started
for me years before paying off all of my $82,000 in debt. But there were a few things
that I didn’t even think about. So I wanted to make this video to give you a little checklist, and give you examples of
what I did for each one. The last thing that I want you
to do is to become debt free, then realize that you should
have done these things that I’m going to tell you about. If you were debt free, then let me know in the
comments down below, and if you aren’t to that point yet, then let me know in
the comments down below how much longer you have until
you’re finally debt free. Hey, I’m Jared from Debt Free Blueprint, where I show intelligent people like you how to get out of debt, and create freedom through your finances using the Debt Free Blueprint. I would greatly appreciate
it if you Hulk smash that thumbs up button. It helps me out. It helps this channel grow, and it means the world to me. If you want more personal finance
videos just like this one, then hit that subscribe button, and the notification bell so YouTube knows to deliver them to you. First, and foremost, you
need to reward yourself. How you do this is going
to be completely up to you. Now, this sounds easy, but it can be very difficult at first. You just finished spending
many, many months, or even years optimizing
your spending to cut back so that you could get your
debts completely paid off, and now it’s time to actually enjoy it. It can be a little bit
tough to break that mindset that you’ve created, so that you can now enjoy the benefits of all that hard work that you put in for all of those years. I’m more of a minimalist, so buying a bunch of things
didn’t really make sense for me when it came to rewarding myself. I value my health, and my physical fitness a lot, so I bought this $400 watch. That kind of feeds that data nerd in me, and gives me all these stats on my health. I know it’s not an Apple Watch, and you might think a
little bit less of me, but I needed something a
little bit more rugged. So I was like, that Apple Watch will not work for someone like me. I also value experiences, so since I didn’t allow myself a vacation for those four years that I
was paying off all my debt, I planned a trip to the Boundary Waters with two of my buddies
where we kind of roughed it for a whole week. Now most people would
not call it a vacation, because it’s really, really
physically demanding, but I’m kind of known to be
a little bit sick in the head with intentionally putting
myself through pain like that. So I was like, sign me up. Now, I didn’t have all of
the gear to go on that trip, so I needed to spend a little bit of money to kind of get all the gear that I needed so that I could use on that trip, and future trips as well. Don’t be afraid to spend
a little bit of money, since you accomplished
something that most people aren’t willing to do. If you are in the process
of paying off your debt, then start dreaming now, because you’re going to be
there sooner than you think. Next, I want you to run a free
credit report for yourself. You should honestly be doing
this every single year anyways, but it’s even more
important once your debts are completely paid off. If you live in the US then you are allowed a free credit report every single year, so you should always take advantage of it. A credit report is going to
list out all of the debts that you’ve had over the
past seven to 10 years. Take a few minutes to review everything just to be sure that all of your debts are actually paid off. You don’t want to accidentally miss one, then have it come back
to bite you in the butt. After I thought that I had
paid off all of my debts. I received a bill for $1,000. It was a debt that I
completely forgot about. Luckily I had the cash on hand so that I could have paid off right away, but it was still a little bit annoying. Learn from my mistakes, and pull a credit report. Like I said, I would go as far as to do this every single year just to make sure that something funky isn’t going on with your finances, because identity theft does happen, so it’s a good way to kind of make sure that someone isn’t out
there using your identity to purchase all kinds of things. If you’re looking for a way
to have your credit monitored on a regular basis, then I
highly recommend LifeLock, check out the links down below if you want to sign up for LifeLock, and I’ll also throw some
other links down there for you to run a free credit report. How about we stay out of that debt cycle by taking care of one of
the expenses that can easily put you back into the poor house, and that of course is a car. If it can break down,
then it obviously will, especially when it comes to your car. You should start setting aside some money for your next car purchase. I hate spending money on anything that has to do with automobiles, but it’s one of those necessary evils that we all just have to deal with. Even if your car is in
good, or great shape, start putting money aside for
when it either needs repairs, or when you need a whole new one. I personally keep a chunk of this money in a high interest
savings account like Ally. The way that I did it once
I paid off all of my debts, is that I put a larger chunk of money into that car fund just
to kind of get it started, and get the ball rolling. After that, I threw an
extra $200 to $500 per month into that fund until I
got it up to an amount that I was going to spend
on my next car purchase, plus a little bit of extra
money for the minor repairs on my current car. I can now say something that I honestly never thought
that I’d be able to say, and that is that I have more
than enough money on hand to pay cash for my next car purchase. So what I do with the extra money that I was putting towards my car fund, since it’s now up to the levels that I want it to be, is I redirect that money
more towards investments, so I can start building
more wealth for myself, and my future. I suggest getting into the mindset of always having a car payment, even if you don’t, that way you’re always putting money aside for that future bill that’s
always gonna come around. Just like with your car,
accidents are going to happen. Since you’ve come such a long way with paying off your debts, you need to start protecting yourself from those future financial disasters. Think of this in terms of
strengthening the walls of this financial castle that you’ve been building
over these years. You can choose to put three, six, or even nine months worth of
expenses into an emergency fund it for yourself. It’s totally up to you. Now, I personally prefer a six
to nine month emergency fund, because it just makes me
feel a little bit more safe, and it helps me sleep at night when my dog is sleeping right next to me, and I’m afraid someone’s
going to break in. I just think about that emergency fund, and it makes me feel a lot more safe, so I’m like, eh, it’s
okay if someone breaks in. What? if you plan on quitting your
job to start your own business at some point, then I’d having at least 12
months worth of expenses on hand to kind of get the business
go into where it’s profitable. We can talk more about that later though. Just like the $1,000
emergency fund that you helped throughout the process of
paying off all of your debts, you will treat this
money the exact same way, put it into a safe high interest
savings account like Ally. Now if you’re feeling a
little bit more risky, then put a portion of it
into a safe place like Ally, and another portion of it into something a little bit more risky, like an investment in the stock markets, through a taxable investment account. The investing platforms that I prefer, our M1 Finance mainly, Betterment, and then you can even open up
a taxable investment account with Vanguard or Fidelity. Just a disclaimer, I would not suggest putting the majority of your six to nine month
emergency fund into investments, but now that you are debt free, you’re kind of in a position
to take a little bit more risk with your money for the
potential of a higher reward. The debt is finally paid off, so now it’s time to start building wealth. Investing in building
wealth for most people should be looked at as a longterm play. If you have the extra
money to play around with, and go ahead, and play
around in the stock market if that’s what you want to do. Before you do that though, I suggest getting your
retirement investments on track. Now this can be done through
your 401k contributions, as well as Maxine out your IRA. The current amount that you
can contribute to your IRA every single year is $6,000. I made a video on investing in your IRA that I think will be super helpful to you. I will link that up in the description. The strategy that I’ve taken
since paying off my debt is to Max out my 401k through work, which is $18,500 per year, max out my IRA, which is $6,000 per year,
and to max out my HSA, which I’m basically using as
another investment vehicle to take advantage of the tax free money that I’m offered through that. With the leftover money
I have beyond that, I am investing in a lot of other places that we can talk about in future videos. Let me know in the comments down below if you want to hear about
those different investments. Also, if you have any
questions about anything that I mentioned, and then leave a comment down below, and I’ll answer them just for you. If you have anything that you think that I should add to this
list then let me know. Make sure to smash up thumbs up button, and pick up your free copy of
the Debt Free Prep Workbook. Subscribe, hit that notification bell, and I’ll see you in the
next one, friends, adios.