My Story About Getting Out of Debt
I absolutely hate being in debt. It makes me physically ill knowing that I owe so much money to various lenders. Two years ago, I sat down and compiled a spreadsheet of every debtor and balance that my wife and I owed. I suppose you can imagine how sickening it was to see that we had accumulated nearly $100k of debt on a $50k household income. We decided right then and there that it was time to get our acts together and get rid of this burden once and for all and start getting out of debt as soon as possible.
Just Plain Stupid Debt
One of the dumbest debts came from having an Amazon Store Card. Amazon has a nice feature called “Subscribe and Save.” Ideally, if you know that you will need something periodically, they will automatically ship it out to you. In our case, we signed up for cat food and toilet paper. However, each time we got a shipment every two weeks; they would charge it to our store credit card. Needless to say, this went on for a few months and we ended up looking like we were about to be the next featured people on Doomsday Preppers with our ample supply of bulk ordered toilet paper and cat food. Include some random purchases that we can no longer remember why we bought them or no longer use; we ended up owing over $4,000!
We had also just paid off our car and in an attempt to “keep up with the Jones'”, we decided to take out a loan and get a newer one. This was a smart move, right? This racked up another $13k. We had a low monthly payment, so what could go wrong?
I had accepted a position that offered a slightly less salary than what I had previously because our family needed quality health insurance. With the dip in income, these “low monthly payments” started falling behind and we began to get some not-so-friendly calls from collectors wanting their money. Tackle on some additional credit cards, a personal loan, and $11k in past medical debt, our outlook was not looking all that great.
When Enough is Enough: Getting out of Debt
On February 1, 2015, I decided that I did not want to live like this any longer. I was tired of the money fights, tired of not making ends meet, and just plain tired of it all. I had heard briefly about a guy by the name of Dave Ramsey and began to listen to his radio program. After hearing about his Baby Steps to getting out of debt, I began by listing our debts from smallest to largest in my spreadsheet and just about had a heart attack.
Since that day, my wife and I have been working hard to get out of debt in order for us to have the life we have always wanted. As part of my motivation to have debt free living, I have created this blog to help and motivate others that are in the same predicament.