Who Else Wants to be Debt Free?

Imagine that you are swimming in debt, want to start a family and be a stay at home mom but realize there is no way possible that you could quit a job you hate because you make 2/3rd of the income in the household.

What do you do?

Cry. Feel horrible that you made bad decisions and put yourself in this position. Feel stuck, with no where to turn. Go to the job everyday thinking there has to be more than this.

Well at least that’s what I did.

Time for Action

What else could I do? I could start learning about my options. I read David Bach, Suze Orman, and Dave Ramsey. I learned everything I could about finances, and went through our expenses and tried to find out how we could pay our bills on 1/3rd of the our income. It was simple math and I couldn’t get it to work out in my favor.

The turning point came when I read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. The chapter that really struck me was about having a car payment. It pretty much said, “You don’t need to have a car payment.”

What? I’m not sure I ever knew that. I had owned different 4 cars by the age of 21. Each one had a car payment attached and each time I bought a new one the monthly payment became higher and higher. Every time a car got above 60,000 miles I would look to trade it in.

When I read the Total Money Makeover, my husband and I had just bought a brand new Honda Civic for $19,000. It was going to be the family car for our future family. I was attached to this car and the idea of having my beautiful family in it.

After reading that chapter I KNEW I had to sell my two-month-old car. I didn’t want to know that. Part of me wanted to ignore it. But I realized that if I could part with this car that I LOVED, I could then make other hard decisions to reach my goal.

Was it easy to do once I made the decision? NO.
Was it one of the best decisions I’ve ever made? YES.

Where is your turning point?

Have you already had your turning point? If so you would know it. If not, what can get you there? If you have dabbled with being debt free, what can you do to reach that turning point?

Some people say that it took them 5 years to finally decide to move forward. But a decision only takes a moment. It may have taken them 5 years to become ready to decide, but that decision was made in an instant.

What can you do to find your turning point and make that decision now?

 

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Hi Iā€™m Jaime. Each and every week I bring you the top business advice from the people who know best.

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12 responses

  • Our turning point was January of 2009. We had enough and decided we would do everything possible to pull ourselves out. In 11 months we were able to pay of a little over 63,000 in debt and now we are debt free except for our home which is next! The most important step is to start!

    • Awesome Paul! “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else” – really rings true doesn’t it? It sounds like your determination to do everything possible really drove you to achieve an amazing $63,000 in 11 months.

      Love your blog by the way too, just added it to my reader šŸ™‚

  • Hi Jaime,
    Love your blog…I’m a music blogger but the blogs I love other than music are personal finance!! I’m on the journey to debt free too… I am really attacking my debt with gazelle intensity. Blogs like yours help me stay motivated. Can you talk more about where you are with your debt now? If you’ve paid it all off…how you did it?
    Cheers!
    Marina
    .-= Marina´s last blog ..I live for the funk: James Brown, The Meters & Curtis Mayfield =-.

    • Thanks Marina!
      I love gazelle intensity šŸ™‚ We have been debt free as of 3 years ago. It was a combination of working extra and selling everything. (not surprising right?) I have a bunch of posts planned about how it all went down, as well as tips and tricks that worked for us.

      My husband is a professional musician/performer (audiobody.com) so I’ll be checking out your blog too!

  • Just found you via the Carnival of Personal Finance. My hubs and I just started attacking our debt in October. Strangely, it was right after he was laid off that we started getting intense. We had to buckle down anyway, so why not kill it, right? We read Total Money Makeover and were sold. Since October we have paid off over $9000 in consumer debt and still have about $30,000 to go. However, we have not used our credit cards AT ALL in approximately 4 months (hooray!) and with a new job on the horizon for him, we will be applying his ENTIRE paycheck towards debt repayment now that we know we can live without it in our normal expenses! We’re on our way and looking forward to being debt free!

    I update our status monthly on my blog. The next one is due this Thursday and it’s not going to be pretty, as March was not a good month for us.
    .-= Kaye´s last blog ..8 Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill =-.

    • Wow, you guys are extreme! No credit cards when you lost an income for 4 months. That is amazing. Imagine having it all paid off, and having his entire paycheck at your disposal! It sounds like you guys are setting your family up for a great life.

      I just checked out your blog too, nice! It looks like we have kids the same age too. (I have a 3 year old boy and a 10 month old girl) Congrats on your new baby!

  • I really am amazed the truth about the public in debt. I signed up for a credit card debt settlement program and after about 10 months I was able to pay about 45% of our total debt load. I feel it was a fantastic decision.

    • Congrats on paying off debt Cordia!

  • Wow, that’s a really clever way of tnihking about it!

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