There are a few things I need to clear up for those who are wanting to start this plan for the first time.
This is not for the faint of heart. If you commit to getting out of debt, you have to throw all your resources at this. Run, don’t walk. The thing is, you have to be willing to suffer for a short time to be able to reap the rewards of the 7 Baby Steps for the rest of your life.
What I’m about to say may shock you, but stay with me. My income is roughly $40,000. My boyfriend’s is $125,000 (yes, his brain is extremely wrinkly). Our household income, even though we separate our expenses, is $165,000. These are the things we’ve done to scrimp while I go through my debt-free journey.
This weekend I experienced something quite foreign to me. Friday, I saw that my vehicle registration renewal was in the mail. It was $63.00. Get this: I wrote a check for it this morning and sent it in. Immediately. That thing I experienced? Oh yeah, I knew exactly where I would pull the money from to cover my registration! What a stress-free transaction.
Guys, I’m excited. I’m making headway on my debt and I’m looking at money differently. Your money doesn’t control you. YOU control you! We just have to remember that we also need to control our money so it becomes a blessing and not a curse.
Now that you all have your debt lists done, it’s time to meet the man who inspired me to get out of debt for good. Author of The Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey. *Gasp, shudder.*
He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and he can be ornery, but he is the only financial guru in America that will tell you to your face that all debt is a terrible idea. Every other financial expert out there will try to convince you that there is good debt. I have to tell you, after finally paying off my credit card in October and now working on my car loan, I never want to be in debt again. It eats away at your income, which is the best tool we all have to build wealth. I want to do fun things with my money, like travel or give it to someone in need, not give my dollars to a banking executive.
I’d like for you to dream a little with me. Imagine making your monthly budget and never having to account for debt payments again. How much could you save? What bucket list items could you finally accomplish? I actually did some dreaming of my own prior to writing this post. I could save $1,500 a month if I eliminated my debt. That’s $18,000 year! My Toyota in the garage? It would be paid for. My Arizona State diploma hanging on the wall? I could finally look at it without shaking my head (or my fist).
I could do all the things I’ve been dreaming about for years: travel the world, buy a really nice car, flip properties, pay for my accounting degree without stressing, run destination marathons, and finally buy R. that used Maserati he’s been eyeing (yes, I would love to be that girlfriend).
Let’s step back into daily life. What if the next time your car needed an expensive repair, you could pay for it with cash? Or if your kid needed a filling done, you could rest easy knowing you have the money?
So yes, let’s start there. But first of all, I’m Joti. I’m an avid runner and personal finance nerd. I have a degree in English Literature, and work in the insurance industry. I live with my boyfriend of just over a year. I think it would be imprudent to mention his name, so let’s do that thing where writers identify people with a first initial – R. And I have debt.