WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Your Debt Story: Debt was a chain around her neck

Posted November 5, 2016

Budgeting worksheet


The "Your Debt Story" this week is shared by a reader who felt choked by her debt. She wrote that debt felt "like a chain" around her neck. With a combination of frugal living and cost cutting, she is now DEBT-FREE! See how she did it below.

Discussion topic: After you read her story, please share any ways you have lowered your entertainment budget (the "going out" budget, as she calls it). As we all know, dinner and a movie can set you back $50.

What frugal things do you do for fun?

Debt Was a Chain Around My Neck

By: Anonymous

I am out of debt and hope to never be in debt again. Debt feels like a chain wrapped around your neck. You are always struggling against it while it tightens around your throat.

Anyway, after two mortgages, car debt, and school loans, being out of debt seemed like a dream. However, once a strict budget was established we could see how we could quickly pay off our debt and no longer have that chain choking us.

Dave Ramsey has a great approach to getting out of debt. You have to hate debt and want more before you will be serious about leaving the debt behind.

I would recommend, to those who would like to get out of debt faster than may seem possible to listen to Faye about couponing. That saved us several $100 a month! For Dave Ramsey fans you do not actually have to live on rice and beans if you listen to Faye's advice.

After slashing the grocery budget we slashed our "going out" budget. We would use coupons to go out, or we found free ways to have a good time (ie playing at a park).

The biggest advice I can give someone who wants to get pit of debt is to ask yourself if the object you want to buy is more important to you than paying off your debt. In other words is it a need or a desire?

Never ever carry a car loan! You can always downgrade to a cheap car until you pay off your debt(s) and then BUY a nice car as a gift to yourself when the debt is paid off.

To the person who is saying, "But I don't make enough money to cover the basics"... get a second job for a short time. You would be amazed at how much money you can bring in just by working a second job for one month. Professionals might be able to do consulting work.

It CAN happen if you want it bad enough. Just give it a try!


Please join me in thanking this reader for sharing her wonderful and motivational debt-free story!

It is so true that debt is a heavy burden to carry but as this reader wrote, there are many things you can do to get out and stay out of debt.

You can read the other debt stories from Smart Shopper readers in the More On This section above.

If you are wondering how much time it will take for you to pay off your debt based on different payment amounts, check out these very helpful debt management calculators at Bankrate.com.

Share Your Story

Are you struggling with the burden of debt or are you living comfortably within your means debt free? Or maybe you are somewhere in the middle.

Here's a chance to share your story of debt and help others in a new weekly series we'll be running.

The purpose of the series is to learn about ways to conquer debt, one day at a time, using real life examples - your examples. If you would consider sharing your debt story, please click on the link above for Your Debt Story: A new weekly series. Each week, we'll post a new story so we can help each other get out and stay out of debt!


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

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  • jdouglas13 Nov 5, 2016

    ThomasG - Hello! Nice to see you.

    Thanks for your picnic suggestion. It sounds lovely, and I agree -- chocolate always makes everything better! :)

  • ThomasG Nov 5, 2016

    JDOUGLAS13 - For a cheap outing we pack a picnic ( sandwiches, veggie sticks, homemade cookies/brownies) and go to the park. Many are scooters/wheelchair accessible now .
    My sister was confined and to a wheelchair for a while and surprising her with a "picnic and park day" perked her up every time - of course chocolate always makes her happy .....

  • jdouglas13 Nov 5, 2016

    Ah, yes, the entertainment budget. We so rarely go out, that it's not even budgeted. However, we do have a date night planned, and that is because of a restaurant Groupon I bought a couple of months ago. Dinner for 2 should be about $20 total which was the cost of the Groupon.

    Once upon a time we used to go shopping for entertainment. Not frugal!

    I'd love to hear some ideas for senior-type activities (i.e., DW uses a scooter to get around) to do for fun that aren't too expensive.

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Nov 5, 2016

    And the "chain around your neck" analogy is so true. Debt is like a constant weight dragging you down. Thanks again for sharing your story!

  • sdoss1 Nov 5, 2016

    Thanks, Anonymous, for sharing your story. I try to keep my 'going out' to a minimum, too. It is so expensive to eat out and to go to movies or events.

  • jdouglas13 Nov 5, 2016

    Anonymous, thanks for sharing your story with us. I agree that following Faye's advice on shopping and couponing will save huge amounts of money each month. It has saved me over $5,000 EACH YEAR for the last 4 or 5 years (I lost count). While working a second job is not always an option for everyone, I do get your point that increasing your income, even a little, can go a long way toward reducing your debt that much faster.

    I loved your comment that you have to hate debt more than you want stuff. :)