Last November, we paid off our last piece of debt and officially started living debt-free.
It was the most magical feeling after so many years of hard, hard work. Lots of readers had questions and wanted details so this week I’m going to share all the ugly bits and the miracle of living within our means. It took a long time for us to get here–like seven years–and I believe you can do what we did. We didn’t hire some fancy financial manager to handle things. We didn’t consolidate loans or declare bankruptcy. We sat down, looked at the hole we’d dug ourselves, and then made a plan to get out of the hole.
There is no quick fix. We had a couple setbacks. We got distracted a few times. But we also got rid of a lot of debt and are now living comfortably within our means (and making less than we have in a long time) and all glory goes to God who was faithful when we called out for help.
Your taxes are due Friday–are you ready? I feel like money is going to be on a lot of people’s minds this week so I thought it would be a great time to air our dirty laundry and maybe help you get started on the path to financial freedom.
Hahaha–okay, I’m sorry. BARF. I can’t say things like “path to financial freedom” without gagging a little and rolling my eyes really hard. That sounds so cheesy and lame. And sort of like an infomercial. I promise to not use anymore catchy language or gimmick-y phrases. It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to stay strong and fight the urge.
Long story short: we used to owe banks, credit cards, and student loan companies lots of money. Now we don’t. If that sounds like where you’d like to be, join me this week as I share the details, the things that worked for us, and where we’re at today.
Random bits before we get started: when I say we’re debt-free, I mean all debt except our mortgage. We actually have two houses so we have two mortgages (one is a rental property). The general consensus in the money world is mortgage debt is not a negative thing to have. Sure, we would love to not have mortgage payments due each month, but I’m not really talking about our home loans this week. Those are there, will be for some time, and we’re hoping to pay them off ahead of time, but I don’t really have much to share other than we have some mortgages.
Also, I am NOT a money expert. Sometimes I mess up our checking account because I do math wrong while using a calculator. I repeat: WHILE USING A CALCULATOR. So you can email me questions but I’m probably not going to know anything about what you’re talking about. And finally, last week I put about $150 on our Kohls’ charge because I love that place. So I guess we’re technically not living debt-free. But when that bill comes, I’ll pay it off in full and I’m prepared to do that (actually, I was prepared to do it before I made the purchase, just to be safe). So maybe this whole series is a lie.
I owe $147.58 to Kohls right now.
I am such a fraud.