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
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!