“The debt is holding us back”
Luckily this is not a statement that has held us back in our household when we decided to live nomadic. But I often hear this from other people and it annoys me. I can live with all the other excuses, my partner would never do this, my family could never do this, I don’t like the unknown, etc. But the one that irks at me is “I have to much debt to live YOUR lifestyle.” I think people would rather just live with their debt and worry about it than actually get rid of it. Because our society has made us think that we need all these things that we can not afford. The House, the cars, the furniture, the gadgets, the education(when was the last time you met someone who paid for their education, without taking out loans)And on top of all this, we think that we are suppose to have “good” debt. Or my other favorite, “my house mortgage, my car loans and student loans don’t count as debt, because we have to have these to live. WELL HONEY THAT IS STILL DEBT. I fell victim to this thought process until I sat down and really looked at MY debt, my budget, my financial decisions and my bank account. A little help from Dave Ramsey Program and I was ready to sit down and tackle this DEBT of mine. Here is what my pile of Debt Shit looked like.
Sallie Mae $32,323 (student loans, all subsidized)
GE Money $3600 (a loan I took out to get corrective eye surgery, so stupid)
Various Credit Cards $4650
Diversified Loans (2 loans I took out against my 401K to go on vacation, so stupid) $5000
Total : $45,573.
No car loan and no home mortgage. Never had these because seriously, my credit score was horrible.
I was pregnant with Zoe and getting ready to make a huge change in my life and it needed to happen quickly to get this debt paid off as quickly as possible.
First, when Derek and I moved in together, we also moved in with roommates. Splitting household finances and expenses made a huge difference in how much money I could throw at my Shit Debt pile. Most people could never fathom doing this at my age.
Secondly, I took out the same amount of cash each paycheck and used that for my weekly meals, entertainment and any other odds and ends. I got rid of anything I didn’t absolutely need. Cable, auto pays for things such as data, magazines, websites, etc. Luckily I was pregnant and all I wanted to do was be at home nesting.
Third, I built up an emergency fund of $1000 and got rid of all credit cards, once the balance was paid off. No longer using credit cards for gas, grocery, shopping etc was an adjustment. I was always told to buy those types of things on your credit cards and pay them off quickly, so that you can build UP your credit score. That is such Bullshit!
Lastly, I stuck to my budget and if I really wanted to buy something, I put it in my budget and I waited until the next paycheck to buy it. Most likely after waiting two weeks I no longer wanted that item.
There is way more to the “7 baby steps of Dave” but I was able to skip a few because of my situation. I started this program April 2011 and year to date I have paid off over $31,000! My last debt is to Sallie Mae for $14, 232.
Next time I hear, ” I could never do what you are doing, I have to much debt.” I am going to smack them and than hand them a Dave Ramsey book and say to them “Sure you can live this way…..you just choose to live in your own SHIT debt pile instead.”