Being debt-free is important to most Americans, and many people consider it part of the American Dream. A Credit.com survey found that twenty-three percent of respondents said that being debt-free is the American dream. According to the survey, 80.7 of those surveyed think that it is very or somewhat likely that they will live debt-free.
However, many Americans are deeply in debt, so if you are debt-free, you are doing well. Being debt-free is a huge accomplishment, but unfortunately, your goals shouldn’t end there. If you are debt-free, you should be taking more steps to secure your financial future. Hopefully, you have already been saving for your future, but if you determined that paying off debt was more important, now is the time to start saving. Here are five things you should focus on once you are debt-free.
1. Build up your emergency fund
If you pay off all your debt, you should prioritize a hefty emergency fund. This is something that you should focus on even if you still have debt, because if you don’t have an emergency fund, you may end up using credit cards when a big problem comes along. Not having an emergency fund can seriously affect your finances even if you are debt-free, because if a big enough financial emergency comes around, using your credit cards without having the money to pay them off can quickly put you back in debt. How much you should save will depend on your own personal finances, but you should try to have at least enough to handle six to eight months worth of bills — and more, if you can. Even you are debt-free, you should usually focus on your emergency fund first.