If you've set a goal to pay down your debt this year, your're not alone.  According to a study by NerdWallet, more than 40% of American have this goal in sight.  Strategically reducing or paying off debt benefits your finances tremendously, but can positively impact others of your life as well.

1. Reduce Stress - According to recent Study more than 85% of Americans intermittently feel stressed by their finances and 30% feel stressed constantly. When you make the commitment to pay off your debt, you're also making a commitment to your overall health and well-being, by minimizing a large cause of your stress.

2. Improve your credit score - Although credit cards and lines of credit may help establish your score, maintaining  low balances positively  impacts it overall.  Additionally, if  you plan to finance a large purchase, such as a car or home, keeping outstanding balances low may classify you as a lower credit risk and qualify you for a reduced interest rates.

3.  Easily pay an unexpected bill - If your debts are low, you'll be able to save more in a emergency fund to handle financial surprises, such as an unexpected home repair bill.

4. Increase you disposable income - Many Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck; their hard earned money is already earmarked to pay off debt and bills before it's even deposited in a bank account.  However, the less debt you are i, the more disposable income you will have available to enjoy now or save for later.

5. Boost your retirement income- If you want to maintain your lifestyle long after retirement, the time to save is now.  Unfortunately, one of the biggest impediments to building retirement nest egg is existing debt  The good news is, when you pay down or pay off your debt, you can choose to contribute additional funds to existing retirement accounts for enjoyment in your golden years.

6.  Model good financial habits for others - If you want other to cultivate good financial habits, be the example they can follow. People, especially children, mimic the behaviors they see.  Explain how to cultivate good financial habits and why it is important to do so.  Additionally, provide reasons why it is best to avoid unnecessary debt.

7.  Become more generous - The less debt we have, the more generous we may feel with our money.  Whether it's tithing more, donating to local school or sports programs or giving money to a cause dear to us, we may feel like we can give more.