When you decide to get out of debt, you never really think it will change your career, much less the direction of your life.
At least I didn't think too much about the benefits of eliminating debt, other than the financial ones.
Little did I know how getting out of debt would change my mindset, propel me towards a new career and improve my overall health.
Here are 6 ways that cutting out debt helped me create the career I really wanted.
1. Start a Side Hustle to Increase Income
When I finally decided to get my financial life in order and get out of debt, I knew I had to make more money. There's only so much you can do to cut back your lifestyle, before you've got to increase your income.
Increasing your income is basically a limitless way to get out of debt fast -- the more money you make, at nights and on weekends, the more can be thrown towards debt payments. This reality gave me the push I needed to start my online writing business.
2. Become a Business Owner
I didn't originally set out to start my own business, but it evolved into that as I started taking on more freelance work. The more freelance work I did, the more I really enjoyed what I was doing, and eventually found my niche. I've always been a word and grammar nerd, along with being a numbers geek, so writing about business and finances became my passion.
Once I discovered how much I enjoyed having additional income, I became more discontented with my day job -- working as an accountant was fun, but writing was the kind of creative outlet I really needed at that point in my life.
So after some hard thinking, I decided to quit my job to become an entrepreneur full-time. However, before I could put my idea into action, I needed a financial game plan, and being in debt wasn't helping me reach that goal. In fact, it was the main factor holding me back!
3. Connect With an Encouraging Network
There's no way you will be able to reach any financial goals, or make big leaps in your career without an encouraging support system. Having a network of people around you who support you is a sure-fire way to reach success.
When I started blogging about my journey towards debt freedom I received a ton of encouragement from readers, bloggers and others who were going through the same thing. It's inspiring not to be alone in your journey, and to have people who want to see you reach your goals.
4. Trade Money For Freedom
Right now I make a lot less money than I did at my day job, but since I don't need a lot of money to survive, I feel like it's the right trade-off for being able to have more freedom in my schedule. Since I don't have debt payments, I'm able to travel more, see friends and family, go out to eat, take naps and read good books.
Those perks are way more valuable to me than money. I've created a mobile business I can run from anywhere, which lets me design my own life, instead of work dictating how I have to live.
I used to make a lot of money, but didn't have time to enjoy it or spend it because I was always working. But now I can enjoy the money I do have, and spend it wisely, all while being very thankful for every penny I bring in.
5. Gain Job Security
As many of you know, the economy has completely changed from the way it was years ago. With the advances in technology, there's no such thing as job security anymore -- it's up to us to create our own jobs and futures.
Now that I've eliminated my debts and have put my efforts into building my own business, I have much more control of how I work, when I work and what kind of income I bring in. When you work for someone else, you don't have a lot of control over those things (no matter how great your boss is).
6. Happier and More Engaged
Only 30 percent of Americans are fully engaged in their jobs, leaving 70 percent of us unhappy, bored and unfulfilled. That's not the way I wanted to work for the rest of my life. After taking action with my finances, I used that to propel my career into starting my own business.
Now I have less stress, more freedom and am a happier person because I don't have the weight of debt and an unfulfilling job to weigh me down. And I didn't even realize my job was an issue until I changed my mindset and came out from under the "traditional" work mentality.
There are many benefits to getting out of debt, but by far, using it to propel my career forward has been the best one yet!
This content is property of Careful Cents and originally appeared here.