Threats to Debt Freedom

pmi debt

The biggest threat to debt freedom is…going back in debt, and that’s one of my biggest worries now that we are debt free (minus the house). I don’t plan on going out and borrowing any money in the near future, but I guess that’s the idea. If something unplanned were to happen, like one of our paid-for cars going kaput or a job loss, I’d be stuck flat-footed when it came to replacing it. I’m trying to save $10,000 by Christmas, and I have no room to be saving for a replacement car, even though I know I should be. I suppose I could use the cash I’ve accumulated thus far to buy a cheap used car, which is what I’d have to do if my car died tomorrow, but if I wanted to make sure I have something decent that gets good gas mileage and is reliable, I’d have to spend more than I have today. This is a bit frustrating because it goes to show that even after you escape the clutches of debt, its power is so strong that you must continue to prepare and take action against it to avoid falling back into its arms. Because … Read more

We Did It: Debt Free

After nearly eight years of stops and starts, forward progress and steps backwards, we did it. Over $100,000 in consumer debt has been paid off to get us debt free (minus house), including student loans, two new cars, 3 international trips, a wedding, furniture, and other various expenses that come with having two kids. We did it by creating a debt payoff plan, tracking our progress, and most importantly, working together. We stopped treating each person’s debt as a separate problem. “My” debt became “our” debt. We combined finances and efforts. We paid off debts from smallest amount to largest to build momentum. We even did it despite my wife losing her job and taking a lower-paying one. Even though some told us that debt was normal, that it was okay to keep some around in order to free up cash-on-hand, we saw the writing on the wall in 2008 and no longer did we want to be slaves to large banks, entities that seem to become more threadbare as each year passes. We wanted to be debt free. We had grown tired of renting our life, and although we made a decent salary, we had nothing to show for … Read more

If You Don’t Need It, Sell It: Rule 6

Sell ThingsThis is Rule 6 in my 10 Rules to Eliminate Debt and Change Your Life

If one of the reasons you are in debt is a collection of toys like a boat, motorcycle or RV, you should really give a lot of thought to selling them and buying new ones after you are debt free.

The maintenance costs, including fuel and storage, will gnaw away at even the strongest budget plan and hold you back.

Read moreIf You Don’t Need It, Sell It: Rule 6

Frugal Living: Easy Ways to Save Money

frugal livingIf you’ve been a regular reader of Married (with Debt), you probably have realized that I don’t talk a lot about frugal living and the millions of little ways to save money every day.

That’s because I think you will get more mileage focusing on big savings like in your grocery budget or vehicles.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some small but easy changes you can consider if you need some extra room in your budget.

Read moreFrugal Living: Easy Ways to Save Money

Debt Payoff Progress – Feb 2012

In my last debt payoff update, I noted that we were 7 months away from paying off all our debt (minus the house).

A few days ago we paid off my wife’s student loan. When she graduated about 10 years ago, she owed about $25,000.

That leaves us with just my student loan, with a balance of approximately $8338. When I graduated 8 years ago, I owed about $20,000. In addition to the credit cards that were paid off years ago, and our two paid-for vehicles, we’ve paid off more than $90,000 in debt accrued over the past 10-15 years.

Read moreDebt Payoff Progress – Feb 2012