Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - Debt

Today we're going to talk about something that most people have and yet most people wish they didn't.

Debt.

While most people have some form of debt, it doesn't mean that it's okay to have. Yes it is normal but you really should try and get rid of it. And when I say get rid of it, I mean pay it off.

Except for paying it off isn't as easy as it may sound. It takes dedication, persistence and a ton of hard work. Especially depending on how much debt you have and how much money you make. But I am here to tell you that it is possible.

The reason why I started off this series with talking about making a monthly budget is because in order to pay off debt or save money, you will need to have a written budget in place. And you will need to stick to that monthly budget you have.

All extra money you get should be put towards your debt and bringing that balance down. Whether it's student loans, credit cards, lines of credit or personal loans, you want to pay them off as soon as possible.

We used Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball method to pay off $15,000 worth of debt in less than 12 months back in 2010. I wasn't working for most of those 12 months and Dan was only working half of it. We did it through hard work and saying no. We gave up things for a while and cut back on spending and eating out, but it was definitely worth it. We even had a debt free party at the end of it and saved up some money to buy ourselves a new flat screen tv.

Cora and I at our party back in 2010
If you really put your mind to it, you can do it too. You may have more or less debt than us and it may take you longer or shorter than us to pay it off, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that you will be debt free at the end of it.

I would definitely recommend checking out the Debt Snowball method I mentioned above, as it worked well for us.  But if you don't like that way, do some looking around or come up with your own way. Just don't give up.

We currently are debt free except for our mortgage but we plan on working at knocking that down faster than the 30 year amortization we have. It will be hard, but it will be worth it. I know that.

So what about you? Do you currently have debt? Are you sick of paying the monthly minimum yet getting nowhere? Maybe its time to sit down and evaluate your income and expenses and start paying off that debt. Or are you debt free like us? If so, I would love to hear how you got there and how you stay there.

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Thrifty Thursday Mini Series

Week 1: Tracking Your Spending
Week 2: Monthly Budget 
Week 3: Just Say No
Week 4: Mini Emergency Fund
Week 5: Buying vs Making 
Week 6: Coupons 
Week 7: Debt
Week 8: Christmas Gifts 
Week 9: Thrift Stores 
Week 10: Finale  

6 comments:

  1. My only debt is my mortgage as well. I never really understood putting money on a credit card if I couldnt pay it off. When my paycheque used to come in I had all my bills set to come out the same day and I would payoff whatever was on the CC, even if it wasnt due yet! I also always "paid myself first", in that savings came out like a regular bill. I could only spend the money I had AFTER bills AND savings. Worked like a charm! Ive gotten used to what I can spend so I dont follow a budget (I am just conscious of when I need to stop spending money). I live quite comfortably now and I even just got my 35 year mortgage down to only 15 years!! and I plan to keep aggressively attacking it (I pay the maximum "extra" 15% per month plus I throw christmas and bonus money at it at the end of the year).

    It feels amazing to have savings and be building a strong net worth! way more amazing than a new TV, or a bigger home, or a bunch of new clothes would feel

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  2. Casey - It sounds like you have some amazing habits in place when it comes to money! I agree that putting money on a CC when you can't pay it off seems a little crazy, but I also understand that sometimes people have to when times are tough. I'm definitely against it though when people just want to buy nice new things but can't afford it. I'm super amazed that you have brought your 35 year mortgage down to 15 years, I could learn some tips from you! Keep living your awesome life in you cute little condo and being money conscious. It will serve you well in the future. :)

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  3. I almost forgot about your debt free party! You are a good budgetron, Jennie. :)

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  4. Jackie - The debt free party was a blast. :) And thanks, I'm working on living back up to my name of the Budgetron. :P

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  5. I am glad I made it into your blog again! :)

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  6. Cora - That's because you're super awesome and visit us so often! :D

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