Debt Free and Never Going Back - Here's How We Did It
We are debt free! But it didn’t come easy. To sum it up, we accomplished this by doing the following:
Knowing what we are spending. So many things on auto pay that it took some reviewing of the ole bank statement each month to know what was going to hit us and when.
Started shopping online. This helped me manage the budget versus splurge spending in store.
Balanced our monthly expenses and budget every week. Sometimes multiple times a week. Just so I stayed on top of it.
Cancel and cut where we could and should.
Got aggressive. I didn’t want to live in debt anymore. Worrying about interest eating us up. Not being able to invest in other things we really wanted to do with our house and life. We paid off a lot and put all bonuses and extra income towards debt instead of spending it somewhere else.
Told people about it. I’m not ashamed. Everyone has debt. If I meet someone who doesn’t then I want to know why they didn’t tell us about it sooner:) Plus, this kept me excited to share that we were making progress. It was like a weight loss journey for us. Just with fatty finances.
And with all that focus for the last 14 months…..
WE ARE DEBT FREE! Do you want to join us?
If you are reading this I hope you aren’t saying,
“Must be nice”
“That will never work for me”
“I don’t make enough money to make that happen”
“I’m not married or have a dual income to make this work”
Instead, I hope you ARE saying:
“I want this too!”
“I can do this!”
I don’t need a partner to make this happen”
The moment I committed to making this work for us is when things started to shift. I suddenly felt more in control. This part of my life was never consistent or given any true attention. I was/am a spender. I still find myself having to hold back. Sticking to the budget.
Man it’s hard but it’s been so worth the wait.
To say we are debt free after 14 months feels really, really awesome.
If you haven’t checked out my original post on how we started you can check things out here.
The steps we have taken to get over the hump were highly anticipated and now we are making our way through to the final stages.
Currently, we are in step #3, put 3-6 months worth of finances into Savings. We are about 3 months out from having this in place. Which is so, so, so exciting for us. But this won’t be money we touch for just anything. I’m all about using the money we have in the bank to do what we need. If an emergency comes up then that’s what the Savings fund is for. But “nice to have” or remodels requires it’s own savings bucket. And paying for it in cash.
While being in step #3 seems early in the process , we’ve made it over the toughest hurdle which is #2. So to me, step #3 is on the straight away!
My best advice:
Just start. Your finances are different every month. It will take a full year to get the hang of it. I was and still am plugging in annual fees that I didn’t remember we had. Cancelling things we don’t need. Budgeting for special occasions, vacays, etc every month.
Follow Dave Ramsey and his Baby Steps. Seriously simple but so effective.
Stay the course. Don’t give up. Practice makes perfect and you will get there. It’s best to forecast out your finances so you know when the light at the end of the tunnel will begin to show. That’s what kept me going. Knowing when it all would / could happen for us.