Debt will steal your future, it will make you lose sleep at night and it can rob you of a happy life. The good news is that it doesn’t have too. Our debt journey has had a few starts and stops along the way. Even with those false starts we still paid off $14,236.12 of debt in less than 3 years!
While it is said that most people are able to pay off their debt (excluding the house) in about five years the reality of the situation is that not everyone can do that. Some are delayed because of the loss of a job, others are facing a life challenge (health, divorce, death of a spouse, etc.), and some simply develop debt repayment fatigue. Our own debt journey has experienced several of these delays. The important thing is that we haven’t given up, and neither should you.
Heith and I began our own debt freedom journey after reading a book called The Total Money Makeover written by Dave Ramsey. My mom had bought the book in 2006 and when she was done reading it I took a turn with it as well. I thought it was an interesting read, and when I was done I put it back on her bookshelf. I didn’t give it another thought for several years. That is until I was expecting KC, we had decided that I would stay home with our children which meant that we would be living on a single income. We didn’t have much of a plan on how we would make single income living work, we just had faith that it would.
Then in June 2010 the month before KC was born we decided it was time to start working on getting out of debt. It hasn’t always been easy, but it is doable even while raising a family on one income. The most important thing is to commit to getting out of debt and following a program that will work. For us that was creating a budget, communication, and Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps.
Heith worked a lot and I mean A LOT of overtime, I committed to making every dollar stretch as far as we could make it go, we both worked some odd jobs; mowing lawn, cleaning for my grandmother, and yes even holding yard sales.
It isn’t easy paying off over $14,000.00 in less than 3 years but it can be done. We still have a little over $22, 000 to go and our journey has slowed since adding a second child into the mix, but we are still making progress every year. In fact, we are on track to pay off $5,000 of debt this year.
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