After taking a break from the Your Debt Story series during the holidays, we are back with a new story from a reader who successfully used Total Money Makeover to pay off 6 credit cards!
Read how she broke a family habit to get her cards paid off and build an emergency fund.
My thanks to her (she prefers to remain anonymous) for sharing the specific techniques and resources that helped her get out of credit card debt and begin saving. Congratulations!
Here is her story:
"I was excited to share my debt story with you in hopes of helping others. I had always struggled with budgets and living paycheck to paycheck and nothing was much help until I read Dave Ramsey’s book, Total Money Makeover.
It had a plan that I could follow and it was very motivational and made me want to follow it. I had 6 or 7 credit cards with between $500 to $3000 on each.
My mother was a big spender and that is what I learned growing up. Also, when I got to college everyone was like, "Hey - get a credit card and get a free soda/t-shirt/whatever." It was looked on as the norm to get a card and start building credit! Basically I spent more than I earned and charged a lot.
After reading Dave’s book, I was really motivated to make a zero based budget and use the envelope system to divide my cash for my monthly expenses. Paying for things in cash really brings home how much you are spending. I paid off my credit cards - lowest to highest - and canceled them once they were paid off. It took me 2 years to get them all paid off.
I have an emergency fund and I am putting money into savings. I do still have loans for my car and the mortgage but I feel so much better about my financial situation and feel in control for a nice change!"
Please join me in thanking this reader for sharing her inspirational debt-reduction story! You can read more about Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and additional resources at DaveRamsey.com. Many libraries have Total Money Makeover available to borrow for FREE!
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 our Your Debt Story series.
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 read on.
All you need to do is send me an e-mail about your experience with debt and where you are now regarding that debt. Feel free to include any or all of the following details (or any additional information you would like to add).
Your story will be as anonymous as you would like. I can use your first name, initials, blog username, or just put "Anonymous" when I post your story. It's totally up to you.
If you are currently in debt:
* How did you end up in debt? (medical bills, purchases, job loss, divorce, etc)
* How much total debt do you have?
* What type of debt do you have (medical bills, credit card, loans, etc)
* What are you doing to pay off that debt?
* What is your time frame?
If you are debt-free:
* Were you ever in debt?
* How did you get into debt?
* How much debt did you have?
* How long did it take to pay it off?
* How did you do it? (Did you follow any programs like Financial Peace University or did you do it on your own?)
* What advice do you have for others in debt?
* What would you have done differently if you were beginning to pay off your debt again?
You can send your stories to: email@example.com and I look forward to reading and sharing them!
My thanks to everyone who has already sent in your stories!