Have you just become debt-free? Then you should be applauded for your discipline. It’s hard to become debt free, but the reason why it’s difficult may surprise you. You see, it’s not because there are just so many barriers from you paying off your obligations every month. It’s because a lot of people feel that it’s easier to spend money, and they don’t have the willpower at the moment to fight that urge to spend money. This is a problem that has to be conquered if you really want to be debt-free. The benefits of not owing anyone anything are pretty strong, and they shouldn’t be ignored.

In order to make sure that you’re staying on the right rack you will need to make sure that you are actually setting some serious goals. You don’t want to wake up and feel like it’s impossible to really have a great life after getting out of debt, but the only way to get to this positive point is actually digging in and building a system that you can refer to each and every time.

It goes without saying that you will also need to be mentally ready to take this step. If you’re still at the point where you think that you deserve to spend lots of money, then you need to revisit all of the reasons why you went into a flurry to get rid of the debt in the first place. If you have to, go back to the feelings that you had when you were deeply in debt.

OK, so you’re ready for that system now, huh? That’s what we thought. Below is a quick list of the things that you will need to do in order to truly embrace the debt-free life you now enjoy.

1. Rebuild Credit and Treat Credit Right

Credit is not something that’s evil — only our abuse of credit really is the problem. So after you become debt-free, there’s going to be a strong temptation to become a cash-only citizen. Yet this doesn’t help rebuild your credit history at all. Only time is going to raise your credit score, but you might be surprised at how many people are willing to extend you credit. Even if you only get a store credit card, you should definitely treat that card with respect. That’s the only way that you’re going to show creditors that you can be trusted with credit again. If you have dreams about buying a car or a house, you will still need to participate in the credit economy in order to regain trust and respect.

2. Build Savings

You never know when a “rainy day” is going to hit your family, and it’s emergencies that tend to push us into debt in the first place. You don’t want to try to just go with what’s in your bank account after expenses are taken out. You will need to establish a separate account, and make sure that you feed it regularly. Most people have found that the money that used to go on debt makes a perfect start to a savings account. Next time your car has problems or you have to suddenly shell out a lot of money, you will have your emergency fund to tap first, not just credit cards. In fact, you will want to break away from tapping credit cards, as this just puts you further into debt. It’s better to build a savings account that can grow interest little by little over time as you continue to feed it. Not sure where else you can get money for this account? You might want to think about putting in birthday, Christmas, and bonuses that you get from work. And don’t overlook the power of your tax refund — it can help boost savings like none other!

3. Get On Good Terms with Spending

A lot of people assume that in order to really enjoy a debt-free life, they have to become anti-spenders. The truth of the matter is that spending can be very enjoyable as long as you have the money available to spend. You don’t have to take money from another source just to go buy something. In fact, that’s the wrong approach at all. You will need to make sure that you’re still taking care of your family. If you go into an anti-spending attitude, you might send the message to your family that all spending is a bad thing. Your children look up to you as a role model about everything, including the money that you spend. If you decide to take this approach, you’ll only teach your children that money is something that has to be closely guarded, and this is something that they’ll carry into adulthood — which usually isn’t a good thing.

You need to get to have a good relationship with money. It’s simply a tool that people use to get what they want most. So if you haven’t already, you should write out the things that you want to get, even if you’re not someone that wants a lot of things. You might be surprised at some of your wants when you actually see them on paper.

Overall, these three points are designed to get you thinking about goal setting after becoming debt-free. It goes without saying that you’ll naturally have more to add to this list, because your situation is going to be different from the “average” person. Ready to get started? Well, don’t let us stop you — jump in today and see what you can get accomplished!