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A thank you to everyone who followed our road to debt freedom

August 17th, 2009 at 11:41 am

I just wanted to send out a "thank you" for everyone here who gave us advice and ideas from the time I started this blog 2.5 years ago. We spent the last 4+ years wading around in over $75,000 of credit card debt and could never figure a way out (at its peak in April of 2008 it was at $110,000) and it took a lot of focus to finally just cut down the lifestyle and get it all paid off. I want to answer a few of the replies in the announcement here so here goes.

To everyone who sent congrats THANK YOU!! We really do appreciate it.

To crazyliblady: What we ended up doing to figure out how much we had to throw at our debt was to go line by line through each and every item we were spending money on and really decide if there was something we could do to cut it down. We ended up trimming out a lot of things we thought we couldn't live without and we basically used a zero based budget approach to make sure all the money was allocated before payday so there were no surprises. We did keep some money to the side for emergencies but not a lot because we didn't want to continue to get eaten up by interest. I would just list everything out and prioritize everything you spend money on each month and you can find all kinds of places to save. When it comes to credit cards make sure you don't use them (it's easier to pay them off when they're not nibbling back at you) and another thing we did to earn extra income was to sell little stuff around the house on ebay and craigslist. We made selling stuff we didn't need our 2nd job and were able to really help supplement our income that way (especially in the beginning.) Just try to focus as much of the extra $ as possible at the card and shut the card down so you don't incur any more payment than you have to. Smile

fern: There wasn't really any trick to what we did. It was really just focusing as much extra income as possible at the lowest balance at the time. We had tried paying it off by interest rate before but really just kept spinning our wheels so we flipped to try lowest balance and that seemed to do the trick. We had three cards with $27,000+ balances but knocking them down one at a time really energized us to continue throwing as much disposable income at them as possible (we ended up putting about 50 percent of our income to the debt while we were working to pay it off. The really cool thing about that was we realized we could support the household on one income since my wife and I make around the same amount of money.) We did a lot of coupon shopping and sale shopping and cut out a lot of the stuff we did on cards before like vacations (we did go on one vacation but we had $10,000 in non-refundable reservations so we went and just used cash while we were away.) The cards went locked up in the drawer and then we closed a bunch of them down (we had way too many credit cards) because we were getting all kinds of fees (annual fees, monthly fees, etc) and it just didn't make sense to keep them open.

campfrugal: The synopsis is we paid off $117k in credit card debt over the last 15.5 months ($110k in APril 2008 + $7k in interest.) We did it by cutting down our lifestyle and just lining up the cards and paying them off one at a time. We availed ourselves of as much extra income as we could by cutting down lifestyle and budgeting our income to the last penny. Smile

Don't worry I don't plan on leaving anytime soon now that the debt is gone. I'll continue to update the blog and try to add some words as to what we did and how we did it to get here. Again thank you everyone for the kudos and congrats as we are so happy to be done with debt!



6 Responses to “A thank you to everyone who followed our road to debt freedom”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Wow, that's massive. Congrats again!

  2. scfr Says:

    Very impressive!

    And glad to hear you'll be sticking around.
    As much as I enjoy hearing the "getting out of debt" stories, I find hearing about what people choose to do with their lives once they have found financial freedom at least if not more interesting.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Your story has been inspiring because you were successful. You did all the right things, too.

    I agree with scfr, that the follow up story to being debt free is also interesting and important as well. I'm glad you'll be hanging around!

  4. Personal Finance Student Says:

    Congratulations! I figured you were nearing the end and am glad you're hanging around. You've been an inspiration.

  5. boomeyers Says:

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. Jerry Says:

    What an amazing accomplishment! This is the kind of thing that leads people to see that it CAN be done, even when the hole is deep. The fact that you are sticking around will continue to offer some insurance to those in similar straits. My hat is off to you!
    Jerry

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