Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #12

“Thank God it’s Debt Free Friday!”

That sounds a lot better than the popular “I hate my job, and the weekend is the only time I can enjoy life” counter part. Maybe if you were inspired to join the debt free soldiers, you would have a little more wiggle room to figure something else out.

Congratulations, you’re in luck. That’s precisely why I created this series. I wanted to show you that everyday people, JUST LIKE YOU, have decided to kick debt to the curb to eventually realize debt freedom IS everything us weirdos say it is.

It is true what they say. “Once you go debt free, you’ll never go back!” If you worked your butt off to release yourself from the chains of bondage that debt guarantees, the chances of giving up the greener grass, for the quicksand express is pretty much NULL! The Debt Consolidation and bankruptcy route being the exception to that rule. The stats show they end up right where they were prior to taking the easy, less educational route to debt freedom. If someone does it for you, you learn nothing.

I once lost significant amount of weight taking weight loss pills. Guess what? I gained it all right back!!

No one in their right mind would choose to go into debt after working so hard to pay it off. It’s because lessons are learned and habits are transformed forever!

Don’t believe me? Read the stories. NONE OF THEM say, “Well, it’s nice to be debt free, but I’m not against voluntarily enslaving myself for another fun round of stressful debt, and paycheck to paycheck living!” If you know of anyone that has literally said that, PLEASE, have them contact me. I’d like to talk to their psychiatrist, pronto.

In the meantime, check out Jackie Beck’s real life debt free story and consider joining her.

Jackie Beck is a re-married mother of one who lives in the southwestern United States. She’s not a professional financial, health, tax, or legal person, but she does love writing and sharing her opinions about money and goals. You can follow her writing on Money Crush, by subscribing to her RSS feed.

Enjoy and have a great weekend! 🙂

The Enemy of Debt Questionnaire – Jackie Beck

How much debt did you have and how long did it take you to pay it off?

I must have blocked out the total amount, but I would estimate $30,000. It took me about 2 years to pay off the first $20,000 or so, and then 5 months to pay off the balance of about $10,000 that remained on my student loan. We’re working on paying off our house now.

How does becoming debt free actually feel? Does it feel better than you imagined it would?

Paying off my student loan was amazing. While I was in debt, I didn’t realize how stressful having that “small” loan hanging out there really was. But once I paid that off — the possibilities were endless. Suddenly I could do whatever I wanted with my paycheck. A weight that I’d been carrying around for years was lifted, and the world was wide open.

What were some of the struggles that you had to deal with along the way? Was there ever a time where you almost gave up?

The biggest struggle that I had to deal with was a lack of income. Prior to paying off my debt, I’d been unemployed for about 4 years. I made very little money — WAY below the poverty level. (Which was one of the reasons my loan was deferred for quite some time.)

I’d gotten laid off from my web-related job a few months after 9/11, and decided to strike out on my own doing something else. I wasn’t able to bring in enough income doing that, but by the time I tried to find a job my skills were a little rusty.

But I never gave up, and did finally find a part time job that later turned to full time. Once I did that and actually decided to get rid of that student loan, it was relatively easy. I’d already been used to living on (literally) almost nothing for so long that I felt flush in comparison.

What would you consider to be the most important key to becoming debt free? What helped you the most?

For me the key to be coming debt free was actually committing to doing so. Really committing, and then following through no matter what. I’d also started reading personal finance blogs right around that same time, and got inspired by what other folks were doing.

It seems a lot of people have bought into the idea that debt is essential in order to prosper, what do you have to say to those people?

To those who believe that debt is essential in order to prosper, I’d say they’ve clearly never been debt free. It’s easy to go along with what the rest of society does, without questioning the details too much. Most of the people I know who are wealthy have done it without debt.

What was the biggest sacrifice you would say you made in order to become debt free? What about you changed the most?

My attitude was what changed the most during my journey to become debt free (except for the house). I started learning as much as I could about personal finance, and working on really planning ahead for the future.

Did your friends and family give you a hard time about your new mission to eliminate the debt from your life? If so how did you deal with it? Do you think you inspired others by your journey?

I didn’t really talk about paying off debt to my friends or extended family. Instead, I just did it. Although I did accompany that with constant updates to my husband on how I’d sent x, y and z to my student loan so far. I hope that I’ve inspired others with my example, at least through blogging about money and goals.

What is next for you? What financial goals do you plan to accomplish?

I’ve been hitting retirement hard (because I am playing catch up) but the next goal to be knocked out is getting our house paid off. We aim to have that done by the end of 2011. I’m not quite sure how yet at this point, but I have faith. And that’s another thing — if you’re determined to do something, and you keep plugging away at it and making it the priority, you WILL get there.

photo credit

Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader Series

Debt Free News: The Kick Off yours truly @enemyofdebt
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #1
Kelsalynn @KelsaLynnFitLog
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #2
Nick @Nickfro
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #3Paul @fiscalgeek
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #4Peter @MoneyMatters
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #5J Money @BudgetsAreSexy
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #6Dustin @EngagedMarriage
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #7 Fabian @debtfree
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #8 Don @money_reasons
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Rreader #9Deacon Bradley @bradleycoaching
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #10
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #11 – Clair Schwan @ClairSchwan
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #12Jackie Beck @moneycrush

More to come…but only if I get some new submissions! 😀

About Brad Chaffee

18 Responses to “Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #12”

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  1. Money Funk says:

    Small loan, Jackie? Ha! That is the size of my loan. And its monsterous to me. Congrats on reaching debt freedom with your SL. That’s a huge accomplishment and I think mindset has everything to do with it.

  2. Jesse says:

    Congrats! That’s awesome, and as a reader of your blog, I think you have ton a lot of things right like all of your entrepreneurial ventures. Your mobile app is great, and I envy the fact that you were able to turn your app idea into reality, and were willing to take that leap of faith.

  3. Congrats Jackie! I’m so happy for you. That’s a great accomplishment!

  4. Congratulations on digging out of debt! I’m sure your story will inspire many!

  5. Jackie says:

    Thanks guys! Things have been so much better since I paid off that loan, and I can’t wait to get the mortgage paid off too.

    (And thanks to Brad for letting me share my story.)

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Your story was awesome Jackie, and no need to thank me.I should be thanking you for sharing it in the first place. In a society that seems to want secrecy to hide their true financial situations, it is more important than ever that more people speak up about there mistakes and their financial successes. I know it\’s gotten better but talking about money often feels as taboo as talking about sex.

      Thanks again for sharing your story. I know your experience will inspire others to take action! Congratulations on being close to paying off that mortgage. You know I love a great \”paying off the mortgage\” story, so maybe I should ask you now. Would you be willing to write a guest post about it when you throw your hands up in the air and are completely debt free? You know I had to ask. Haha! 😀

  6. Debt Solution says:

    From 1991 to 1994 I my wife and I racked up over $300,000 in debt; Christmas of 1994 we decided to change our behavior and get debt free. Its been liberating and we feel like were really free!

    Yes there was a time we wanted to give up mainly due to not having a complete plan. At that time everyone was booming due to the internet there wasn’t many people talking about financial management.

    What really made a difference for us was when we paid off a group of debts and started saving a ton of money sometimes as much as $10K in a month. We started negotiating huge debts with that money and it accelerated our plan.

    We gave up buying new cars, trips and just spending money we didn’t have. No more credit cards, no more credit at all. We had to save the money for all big ticket items and that was sometimes a struggle when we wanted it NOW!

    We were debt free by 1999. Currently during this economic turn down we haven’t laid off any workers, we haven’t cut their pay. We’ve actually hired more people and we’ve paid more money out.

    My company is 100% debt free and its helped us grow because we didn’t need to borrow money to expand. After making some investments in our business our profits are up 30%. We’ve also purchased several foreclosures CASH and made $60K on one and we have one for sale right now that we’ll make a minimum of $80K. Because we don’t have a mortgage on them we can wait it out.

    We’ve just had another great experience with my 18 year old daughter my wife and I gave her $10,000 to open up her own Anime store. She just open today (9-10-10) I couldn’t have done this if I was in debt. I also gave my older daughter one of my houses and she’s only required to pay $500 a month which I’m just putting the money away for repairs, etc.

    So I guess to answer your question about did I think it would be this good? I knew it would be good but not this good. My wife and I donate a lot of time and money. We spend a lot of time with each other and we never argue over money or anything else. Yes we have disagreements but never like it was when we were in debt. We’ll be married 21 years next April.

    I would suggest to anyone trying to get out of debt to do something that we did. Get a piece of paper and write down your perfect day of work and play. The life you dreamed of living every day for the rest of your life. Honestly we didn’t even dream it would be this good, but we thought it would be good having no debt.

  7. Jackie, your story is inspirational! I can’t wait until the day I can say I’m debt-free. Believe me, Brad you’ll be one of the first to hear about it!

    The more people that do it, the more “normal” it becomes.

  8. Walter says:

    Commitment, that’s the thing I have been missing in my attempt to be debt free. It is by necessity that I came in acquaintance with debt, but as I slowly rise financially it has become my habit to bury myself in debt. Perhaps I should work hard on committing myself to be free of debt.

    Thanks for the inspiration here. 🙂

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      You nailed it Walter! Commitment is the hardest part. It\’;s easy to be pumped about something for a week or two but it\’s having the diligence and discipline to see it through. I think we all have commitment issues. I for example, have trouble committing to eating great all the time., I know I should do it and why, but my plan always seems to fizzle out. Good luck Walter! 😀

  9. Forest says:

    Awesome story. It just shows that it can be done and every new debt free story we read should give us in debt hope. I can feel my debt free day coming closer one month at a time :).

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